Date: 23rd November 2009 at 8:11pm
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Finally, a convincing home win, in which we weren’t forced to tremble throughout the last few minutes, praying that the visitors won’t snatch an equaliser. It was a performance with plenty of positives although I’m of course aware of the mitigating circumstances, i.e. Everton’s lengthy injury list and their horrible record against us which must be a psychological block as well.

So, the positives of the 3-0 win over Everton:

The much-maligned midfielders scored all three goals: Fletcher (a wonder goal), Carrick (supremely cool finish) and Valencia (lucky but deserved it for his endeavour). They dominated Everton’s depleted midfield but their goalscoring exploits were unexpected. Don’t forget that at the start of the season all the talk was about how United’s midfielders do not score enough goals. Well, five of our six Champions League goals (not a great tally, I admit) have been scored by midfielders and all the first teamers, even Nani included, have scored at least once this season, with the exception of Obertan but it would be unfair to criticise him on that account, considering that he started only one game so far…

– Patrice Evra. He’s in blistering form and put in another tremendous performance on Saturday. He’s a marvel of a player and blasphemous it may sound, he’s a better left-back than Denis Irwin was. No higher praise necessary.

– The whole performance. It was controlled, we played at a sufficiently high tempo, we kept the ball well, retrieved possession early enough and created good chances.

The negatives:

It’s clear that Ryan Giggs’ form has petered out somewhat. He was, once again, ineffective, giving the ball away way too often. He attempted clever through balls on countless occasions but the passes usually ended up at an Everton defender’s feet…

– Wayne Rooney was far from his best, industrious and enthusiastic he undoubtedly was. Too many mistakes, too many bad decisions. Leading the line at the Bridge and then the game in Qatar clearly took their toll on him.

– Rafael seemed intent on getting sent off and played like someone who forgot his brains in the dressing room. We always knew he needed improvement on his defending and positional awareness but this kind of full-blown idiocy was never seen before from him… but it might be a one-off.