During the first half I was thinking – Manchester United’s midfield is too weak. They can’t even dominate a Tottenham side that had no aspirations of any possession. Danny Welbeck looked like a striker from a mid-table club, borderline starter. After Anderson’s 76th minute goal, after a cheeky heel from Welbeck, my mind was singing a different tune about Manchester United, the champions and the best team in England right now.
United’s weakness right now is their keeper and midfield. David de Gea will be great someday, but he doesn’t command the area very well and lacks confidence. Tottenham’s middle of the park? Didn’t really exist. Long balls to Rafael Van der Vaart and Jermain Defoe was all they could produce. All the talk of being physical and piling the pressure on De Gea wasn’t their on the pitch.
Tottenham did have their good 15 minutes in the opening of the second half, but Aaron Lennon proved once again that with all of his speed, pace, agility and the trouble he gives the best of defenders, his decision making and on pitch wits are completely, well, non existent. Problem is, with all of Redknapp’s talk about Champions League and becoming a consistent top four sides, Tottenham’s depth chart keeps getting shorter.
United? Even without Hernandez, the strike force was working. In the first half I was more busy trying not to laugh while looking at Wayne Rooney’s hair. The second half? The Old Trafford pressure and Tottenham’s attempt to finally score freed things up for Ashley Young and Nani. Eventually it was Tom Cleverley who delivered the assist to Danny Welbeck to open the scoring and put the game to rest.
Wayne Rooney scored the third, the finisher, the one he deserved. The hardest working superstar in the biz. Nani was weak, and should have been sent off in my opinion for his challenge on Kaboul. The boost from officials United get at Old Trafford continues to be an annoying occurrence every match, every season. Gareth Bale had a clear foul on him, on the edge of the box, somehow turned into a dive on a bad performance from Lee Probert.
Like Arsenal, Tottenham look like a team that stalled too much during the summer, finding themselves ill-equipped to deal with the expectations, clearly lacking key ingredients in order to deal with United, City, Liverpool and Chelsea, according to early signs. Manchester United? Not perfect, but deep, and relentless. Hardly noticed anyone was missing. And watching Ryan Giggs, even for ten minutes, is always a delight.