Aug 18, 2010

Match Report: Manchester United (A)

Richard Keys inspects the new MNF studio

16.08.2010 – Monday 8:00pm
Barclays Premier League

Manchester United – 3

Berbaflop, Fletcher, Giggs

Newcastle United – 0

Location: Old Trafford
MOM: Paul Scholes
NUFC Performance: 6/10

Ignoring Stats

Semi-retirement must be a nice thing.  Lord knows my fresh age coupled with the seemingly extended-by-10 years-by-the week retirement age, by the time I reach semi-retirement I will have to be wheeled to work by my carer and have the local coroner on speed dial.  At present though semi-retirement is still a nice thing. At least it is from what I see in my work. Turn up 3 days a week and p#ss about more than a 16yr old in a managerless McDonalds kitchen.

Richard Keys and Andy Gray seem to have reached this holy grail of working life – something which has been indirectly rammed down our throats with Sky Sports’ reintroduction of Monday night football. By using their almost Stalin-esq strangle hold on the Premiership and following the ‘everything should be f#ckin retro because no creative people exist anymore’ theme of recent times – it has now returned under the inventive title of ‘MNF’ and in a purpose commissioned studio representing something like space f#ckin’ mountain.  Both pre and post game Keys and Gray managed to ignore all statistical fact, impartiality and even at points, the away team playing at Old Trafford on the night…  The fair opinion pre-game was that Newcastle would struggle to leave with even a point that night, and they duly did so.  But the way the two soon to be geriatrics reflected on the game seemed to get more and more generous as the minutes went by.  Stats showed that despite Manchester having a higher percentage of possession than the British tax payer has of RBS they only mustered four shots on target – scoring from three of those.  How that could transform into “could have easily been 5, 6, 7” I don’t know.  It’s almost like they spent the entire game bleating on to each other about age related hemorrhoids then when the full time whistle came… “who-won?? Man Utd?? They must have p#ssed it – howay Andy, lets spout some sh#te and get back to the driving range”.

Still, this can’t disguise what was a comfortable win against a capitulating Newcastle team.  Perhaps on a luckier day we might have left with a 1-0 defeat but a 0-0 would pretty much have required luck of gargantuan proportion and a win of any description would have required to be in league with satan (aka Piers Morgan) himself.  The game plan was damage limitation and Newcastle spent so long camped outside their own penalty area they may as well have pitched tents and got a fire going – with pretty much every player being guilty of sitting round said fire singing kumbaya while Patrice Evra drove into the box to set up the second.  This after cheap loss of possession by Jonas Gutierrez combined with an unlucky touch from Jose Enrique turned into the perfect through ball for Dimitar Berbaflop to score the opener.  Given Newcastle’s insistence on not attacking even after going behind the contest was over after the first goal went in, although they remained dogged and organised.  The only concern from a tactical point of view was Paul Scholes being left un-harassed to dictate the game, so conspicuously he may as well have had ‘playmaker’ printed on the back of his shirt and ran around shouting ‘EVERYTHING IS GOING THROUGH ME’.  Still, a nightmare trip is out of the way and our season starts next week at home to Aston Villa.

On a final note: It was nice to hear Man Utd fans singing their very awkwardly worded song about Alan Shearer (…makes Alan Shearer look f#ckin… eh what? dearer, nearer? – try again lads).  Nice in the way it’s funny to see they still care – it’ll always grate on them…

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