It was quite lively at the top of Sir Matt Busby Way before the game this afternoon. 😯
A small group of West Brom fans had gathered outside Macari’s Chippy and were enjoying a few drinks amongst the thousands of reds who mingle around this area before kick off. It was all fairly amicable at first but the mood changed completely when they started chanting their songs and soon dozens of beer cans were flying in their direction. A few Baggies took refuge in the United Chippy and the police were in there fairly quickly, but they weren’t best pleased about getting covered with beer and decided to bring in the horses to clear the whole area. 😕
Not wanting to be pushed down to the ground an hour before kick off, we made a dash for Ladbrokes and placed today’s silly bet: United to win 4-2. Â£8 to win Â£400. Unfortunately, at that time we didn’t realise that Fergie would be back to 4-5-1 tactics and would rest half of the team. 👿
United started with the same defence as last week. Alan Smith was picked as the lone striker, with Ronaldo and Giggs on the flanks. But choosing a central midfield trio of Fortune, Phil Neville and Kleberson showed a lack of ambition against a side who were bottom of the league.
Giggs scored united’s only goal with a quickly taken free kick after 20 minutes. Chance after chance went begging, with Smith missing at least seven or eight decent headers and Ronaldo having half a dozen decent shots saved by West Brom’s replacement keeper (whose name I can’t spell).
Rio Ferdinand popped up in the area just before the break and should’ve scored, but his embarrassing mis-kick prompted chants of “A hundred grand, you’re having a laugh” from the East stand. 😕
There were plenty more chances in the second half, including a golden opportunity for Kleberson to impress – but he blazed it over the bar from 10 yards out. West Brom were then awarded a dubious penalty when John O’Pie made a clumsy challenge on Horsfield; Earnshaw converted the spot kick easily.
Fergie reacted by bringing on Scholes, Rooney and Saha. I’m baffled… Why don’t we start with the strongest team and then take them off for a rest once we’re comfortably ahead, rather than bringing the “big guns” on when we’re desperate for a goal? This has happened too many times over the last couple of seasons. 😈
Cue a frantic last half hour with lots of attacking football. There were dozens of good chances, including Scholes hitting the woodwork, but we just couldn’t find the winner.
Right, I’m off to the Kings Arms. 🙄