Normal Service Resumes
Well it wasn't to be. As I arrived in town on Sunday, I amused myself by gawping at the coaches carrying "United" fans into our fair and noble city. In my short amble towards Pink Lane, I saw one from Surrey, two from Scotland and another from Cardiff. We stupidly got ideas above our station and some of us genuinely felt we could take something from this game - it was effectively over after 15 minutes.
To be fair, they looked immense in the first 15-20 minutes. They passed the ball with ease and looked like one of the best sides we had seen up here in a long time. How much of that was due to their ability (Michael Carrick is still rubbish) and how much of it was down to our lot with the jock-strap on back to front is up for question. The first two goals came from some terrible set piece defending. I can almost excuse a tall and lumbering centre back towering above ours to score, but Evra? I'm pretty certain that a man of his size is told to go and do some keepie ups when the rest of the team practice headers. He's about 3 foot 7, and therefore has no right to be winning a header anywhere on the pitch. Terrible defending.
Following that, we were on the ascendency and could (perhaps should) have pulled one back before half time. As it was, our efforts sailed wide of the post and we were left with a mountain to climb. Moreso when we went 3 behind after Cleverley's speculative cross-cum-shot. This was after we had a goal ruled out after the ball had crossed the line. Webb appeared to look over to Fergie who shook his head, and subsequently the goal was not given. It would be foolish to make a big thing over that though given how we got out of jail against Everton the other week. You win some and you lose some.
I would point out that van Persie is a lucky boy after getting away with a swinging arm on Cabaye. With it being Man Utd, you can only expect that the Dreamboat will get a seven match ban for head butting his elbow. I think I counted at least 4 yellow card challenges by that van Persie...and the evil man in me was praying for a rush of blood to the head to Tiote and watch him plough through him. His behaviour in the Arsenal match last season is still fresh in my mind. Speaking of Tiote - what exactly was he booked for? From where I was sitting, he appeared to get fouled, but not only did the free kick go against him but he got booked as well. Mind boggling.
That said - we were outplayed for the most part, and they were more than worth their 3 points. On the plus side, after the first two goals we stretched them. The third goal resulted in one "United" fan getting ejected from the Leazes End, presumably after getting sussed celebrating. Instead of going quietly, he swaggered off in a stereotypical Manc fashion and proceeded to spit all over someone in the front row as he was escorted out of the ground. Classy.
We now find ourselves with a two week break before we enter enemy territory. I can only hope we have two of Coloccini, Taylor and Krul back. Defeat is not an option.