Sunday, 14 August 2005

MU 2-0 Everton

Good start, MU... I think by now you know which EPL team I support. Hehe...

The 2 new signings both had their debut and played well. Park Ji Sung, who replaced the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, was really lively and troubled the defenders to no end, popping up on the left and right at the same time. Edwin van Der Sar gave much needed stability between the posts, with nothing much to do except when he had to make a brillant save against Tim Cahill during the first half.

Ruud van Nistelrooy is beginning to show his former sharpness in front of goal and Wayne Rooney is Wayne Rooney. He is just so strong, skillful and brave. 3 or 4 Everton players will go towards him when he gets the ball, demonstrating how dangerous he is to the opposition.

Paul Scholes did enough with some brillant passing but his tackles still sucks, with one of them earning him a yellow card. Roy Keane imposed himself when needed and his vision is still very good but his dominance is clearly waning. The heart is there but his body sometimes showed its age. Darren Fletcher played well but I think he is more of a central midfielder than an out and out winger, a future Paul Scholes maybe?

Gary Neville was his usual self, defending coolly and full of running supporting the attack on the right flank. John O'Shea was good going up, supplying the cross for van Nistelrooy to score but his defending is a little suspect. He was switched to midfield when Gabriel Heinze came on for Fletcher and only then was the area better defended. Heinze is showing that he definitely worth more than the 6m pounds that MU paid for his services. Rio Ferdinand seemed more focused, calm and alert after penning his new contract, marshalling the defence really well. Mikael Silvestre played well but at times his rashness would have gotten him a card, had Graham Poll decided to be less lenient with him. Poll helped kept the play flowing but there were a few controversial calls at both ends of the goals.

Alan Smith came on for Scholes but I'm still not convinced that he can do well at the centre of midfield. He was his usually fiesty self, getting himself in a war of words with Tim Cahill. Kieran Richardson was full of running but he came on late in the match and did not have much time to impress.

The Everton players that impressed me were Tim Cahill, Mikel Arteta and Marcus Bent. All three looked threatening when Everton attacked, with Bent harassing the defenders to no end, Cahill making his runs from midfield and Arteta making dangerous crosses. A special mention from the Everton side has to be Phil Neville. His home debut Premiership match for Everton, he played the holding role well but he has to execute his tackles more cleanly. Rooney, van Nistelrooy and Park all at the receiving end of his tackles. These players must have had experienced this before during training matches at MU but it really looked funny because you never thought that he would be anything but a MU player. It's now down to only Scholes, Giggs and his brother Gary as the remaining members of Fergie's Fledglings. Sighs... its bound to happen I guess.

Hopefully, if they can improve on this match's performance, seeing this is the 1st match of the season, and with Cristiano Ronaldo coming back from injury... they might probably have a good chance to knock Chelsea off their high horses... fingers crossed.

Match pictures: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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