After a truly shocking weekend of results for United, I find myself feeling extremely nervous and uneasy every time I think about what the week holds. This time next week, we will know if whether we have made the Champions League Final and if that precious number 19 league title is in our grasp. I’ve had some time to cool down and review our situation, and I can conclude that all United fans need not panic, we should feel confident about the future and with everything still very much in our own hands, I believe the positive result will come. It has definitely created an extremely exciting end to the season (more so for the neutrals).
It started off on Saturday, with Chelsea claiming the most unjust result in a really long time. Having offered very little throughout the first half, and with Spurs leading 1-0 through a sublime Sandro cracker, Lampard’s shot from fully 30 yards out was spilled by the inconsistent Gomes. As the ball rolled towards the line, Gomes managed to react quickly enough to stop the whole ball from crossing the line. The linesman, 20 yards behind play and without a clear view of the ball, guessed that it had crossed the line due to crowd pressure and the goal was given. How can he give it when he knows he is not sure and cannot see?! It makes me sick. Then they grabbed the winner in the 86th minute after Drogba’s screwed shot fell into Kalou’s path – who was offside and that goal also stood. These kinds of unacceptable decisions seem to happen when it matters most and in turn costs clubs millions of pounds. Goal-line technology needs to be implemented as soon as possible.
Then on Sunday, in a game where a point would have done enough to take the pressure off for the Chelsea clash, we failed to show up. Reminiscent of the 2009 Champions League Final against Barcelona (a potential 2011 final), we just offered nothing and let their midfield boss us around. It’s so disappointing, especially after one of our greatest European nights in a long time; we showed no attacking threat, no control and seemed to be content to play for the draw. As Fergie said, we only started playing when they scored. But why were we not attacking them from the beginning, like we have done in the past, which has seen us claim some great victories?
Tonight, we will surely see Barcelona hold off Madrid to book their place in the final. The best thing we can hope for tonight is to see Dani Alves and Sergio Busquets booked, which would mean they miss the Final, as they are both on yellow cards. I’m also sure we will follow suite tomorrow, and even with a changed team, should have enough to see off the threat posed by the Germans.
However, Sunday is what it all comes down to. The previous 35 games do not matter. It’s all about our situation right now, which is still in our hands. A draw is enough, and I would gladly take that result right now. Thinking back to the way the league has twisted and turned, after Chelsea’s blistering start to the campaign, surely we would have taken the position we currently find ourselves in? But then I think, they were fighting for 4th place a couple of months ago and we were cruising towards the title. We have also held top spot for longer than both Chelsea and Arsenal, that’s 21 weeks in total. I take slight comfort that this game is being played at Old Trafford, even though that made no difference last year, when Drogba was a mile offside yet the goal stood. Not this time round and I really hope that a refereeing decision does not decide the outcome of this all important clash.
Thank God last Sunday was not the league decider and luckily we have another shot at redemption. It’s time to stand up and be counted. This is what football is about. When do United ever do things the easy way? Now is our time, this is our title to lose and I truly hope to be writing this time next week at the prospect of claiming our second Double in 3 years. BEL19VE.