Sunday, August 8, 2010

Valencia Strike Sets Red Devils On Way To Premier League Curtain Raiser Win

It was a statement of intent by Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United. Their 14th FA Community Shield capture is a record for the Red Devils and they are looking in good nick as the new Premier League season starts next weekend. Chelsea were unable to snap out of their pre-season slump and succumb to their fourth pre-season loss, this time at Wembley. The good news for Blues fans is that they start the season next weekend against relegation candidate WBA at home.

Antonio Valencia set United on their way to victory with a sweeping move which exposed the lack of pace in the Chelsea defence. Wayne Rooney created that goal but he had a quiet game by his high standards. However, the Red Devils did not have to rely on Rooney as much in this match. Valencia had the better of Ashley Cole all afternoon and he exploited it to the best of his abilities.

The second goal came from Valencia outsprinting a lethargic A Cole to then square the ball across the penalty area for Chicarito to score on his English debut. Javier Hernandez has been compared favourably to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but the manner in which the young Mexican star scored the goal was more from the Dion Dublin scrapbook instead. Yet, it was a great opportunistic goal and thus the comparison with the Babyface Assassin may eventually prove accurate.

Dimitar Berbatov's exquisite lob for the Red Devil's third goal in injury time also confirmed that the graceful attacker is ready for the new season. Berbatov, Chicarito, Rooney, Macheda and Owen represents an interesting quintet of strikers for Fergie, allowing the legendary United boss to have a myriad of attacking options in the final third, combining pace, vision, creativity, work rate, finishing ability and big-match temperament to maximum effect.

Chelsea were simply too slow and lethargic to threaten United today. It is clear that any opponent with pace and movement will cause panic with Chelsea's aging defence. What used to be their strongest area is now the weakest part of their game. Since 2000, the Blues have never conceded more than 1 goal per game average. I doubt that Chelsea can repeat their awesome defensive record of previous years this coming season.

And so Chelsea go back to the training ground and will need to put right their defensive frailties. Hilario could not be faulted against United but the return of Petr Cech next weekend will boost Chelsea's defence ahead of former great Roberto Di Matteo's West Brom.

An excellent curtain raiser to next weekend's English Premier League start. Manchester United has once again sent out warnings that they are the team to beat in the new season.

1 comment:

AngleseyBaggie said...

"The good news for Blues fans is that they start the season next weekend against relegation candidate WBA at home."

Very lazy journalism. What exactly do you know about the current West Brom squad?

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