All the talk of Manchester United not doing enough during the summer, and of David Moyes not being good enough to be their manager, and about their midfield not having enough quality; all that went out the window once Robin van Persie started scoring, and took away any shred of doubt about his team’s chances of being a major player in the title race this season.
The top scorer in the Premier League over the last couple of seasons continued where he left off, with a brace in a very impressive 4-1 win over Swansea in Wales. So the home side were the dominant team during the first half; it didn’t stop United from being solid in the back, with Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand looking like everything is OK again, while David de Gea is no longer a goalkeeper being questioned at every opportunity, and go down to half time with a 2-0 lead, using a three minutes blitz to make sure the soul was ripped out of Swansea’s players.
David Moyes didn’t do anything new. Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley as central midfielders struggled retaining possession or keeping Swansea away from the box, but it didn’t matter. They were organized and disciplined enough to keep Michu under a watchful eye at all times, while Laudrup is probably regretting not using Wilfried Bony a little bit earlier, in what might have given his team bit more presence in the box and another option instead of passing the ball once again.
On the other end, Swansea’s defense wasn’t as focused , and Van Persie slipped away beneath the offside trap, with Ryan Giggs showing us once again why he’s still playing after all this time with a splendid through ball that gave Van Persie the chance to score. He usually doesn’t need more than one. Danny Welbeck made the most of a mess in Swansea’s box two minutes later.
And that was it. Wayne Rooney unhappily came on in the second half for Ryan Giggs and ended the match with two assists. He wasn’t happy about it, and didn’t really celebrate with his teammates, but even an unhappy Rooney, playing as somewhat of a left-winger, supporting striker (trading places with Welbeck at some point) is still one of the best players in the Premier League.
United jumped over the first hurdle given for them to leap over with ease. It wasn’t perfect football, but it was clinical and deadly enough to leave no doubt regarding whether or not they deserved to win. David Moyes tried to hide his joy from his second official win as a United manager, but this one probably meant a lot more than the one over Wigan in the Community shield.
Once again, the questions about the midfield and summer signings will arise. For the Premier League, it seems that having a solid, organized and disciplined back five (including De Gea), with a deadly strike-force that includes Robin van Persie and anyone else who plays next to him, is good enough to continue and keep you at or near the top of the table.