One win doesn’t put Manchester United and David Moyes back in the title race, but the quick rise of Belgian starlet Adnan Januzaj, scoring twice in the 2-1 victory over Sunderland, might be the beginning of the long climb back from depths the club hasn’t been used to being in for a very long time.
Their visit to the Stadium of Light to play the struggling Black Cats, possibly the weakest team in the Premier League, started off badly, as Craig Gardner made the most of some terrible defending from Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic to make Moyes’ nightmare worst than ever.
At that point, all everyone was thinking about is how soon will Moyes be fired, which also translates into how long will he last at the job. Nothing seemed to be working for Manchester United, looking completely anemic, as Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney continued to disappoint in their inability to make something happen through Moyes’ defective tactics and especially midfield.
But then the second half began. Rafael stopped pushing forward, and Sunderland stopped attacking from his completely exposed wing, which is something you can count on when both he and Nani play together on the right. A nice assist from Patrice Evra found Januzaj in the middle, and United started their comeback towards getting some weight off their manager’s back.
It didn’t take very long for the second goal to come. A bad clearance from the Sunderland defense, as two players went for the same cross instead of spreading out a bit more wisely, resulted in Januzaj getting a chance to score a beautiful volley with his left foot, rocketing it into the corner, exactly where Kieren Westwood cannot reach.
Another loss would have been too much to handle for Moyes, and the countdown till his firing would have begun. Manchester United still don’t look anything like a title contender with a lineup that keeps changing, counting too much on the individual brilliance of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie to make anything happen.
Now, despite still not solving his defensive problems or the matter of a midfield that can take control of a match both in terms of defensive stability and some creative ideas, they have a third player who can serve to be that big game changer in Januzaj.