Dec 26

A Hull of a comeback

Tag: Match Reports @ 3:17 pm

Amid the festive mood that has embraced us all in recent days, it would have been easy to forget that, even at Christmas, United simply don’t do things the easy way.

And why would they? After two days spent eating and drinking, they probably thought we ought to experience some less enjoyable feelings but, in the end, they took a long hard look at themselves and delivered a belated present.

A trip to Hull is nobody’s idea of fun as it is, let alone considering Steve Bruce’s men boasted the best defensive record at home in the Premier League and found themselves 2-0 up within the opening 12 minutes.

United’s calamitous defending looked to have tarnished the Reds’ Christmas as they allowed former United player James Chester to open the scoring after four minutes, when he thundered the ball into the roof of the net after Alex Bruce had headed the ball into his path.

Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and even the ultra-reliable Rafael were again under the cosh eight minutes later when they failed to clear another Hull attack, and allowed David Meyler not just a second, but a third and fourth bite of the cherry, with his shot deflected past David De Gea by Evans’ foot.

At 2-0 down and with Rafael subbed off five minutes later, United, as it’s been frustratingly common this season, looked yet again set to suffer a setback after a couple of good results.

David Moyes’ decision to replace Rafael with Adnan Januzaj paid immediate dividends as the Belgian slotted in as right winger, with Antonio Valencia dropping into the right-back spot, and immediately drew a foul.

From the resulting free-kick Chris Smalling’s header pegged one back for United, before Wayne Rooney’s 150th Premier League goal for the club drew United level soon after.

Never one to do things by halves – good or bad though they might be – Rooney’s equaliser was simply sublime.

Having flicked the ball on towards Danny Welbeck, Rooney chested down the return ball before unleashing a swerving right-footed volley that flew past Alan McGregor and shut up Hull fans’ rather pathetic chants of “Champions? You’re having a laugh”.

Champions might be a step today for United this season, but the Reds laboured diligently towards another three points, even despite rather insipid performances by Ashley Young and Tom Cleverley, who failed to kick on from their last two positive outings.

With Darren Fletcher making his first start since December last year United controlled the midfield, but Hull’s defensive shape – the Tigers had conceded just three goals in eight games at home this season – prevented them from injecting any pace into the game, with Young and Januzaj largely subdued, while Patrice Evra and Valencia were kept under control by Hull’s wing-backs.

Chicharito replaced Fletcher as Moyes showed the attacking intent he’s often been accused of lacking, but United had the bar to thank for preventing Bruce’s header son from flying in with 62 minutes played.

Four minutes later the Hull defender was even more unlucky as his header flew into his own goal when he desperate tried to anticipate Rooney to the ball.

Having completed a trademark comeback, albeit not a vintage one, United – who had Valencia sent off in the dying stage, as the Ecuadorian picked up his second yellow by petulantly kicking the ball away – sat back too deep yet again and had David De Gea to thank for a crucial save on Danny Graham right at the end.

Far from a vintage performance, but good to see that we can still come back and win a game like in the good old days.

Onwards and upwards.

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Tags: Match Reports

7 Responses to “A Hull of a comeback”

  • Glad we got the results. Definitely not champion material but a win nevertheless.

    One thing was very obvious today…our midfield can surely go down as the most boring in the premiership. So too our style of play.

    I’m still trying to understand the fascination over Tom Cleverley. Once again, another boring and useless performance from him. I simply cannot get my mind around it/him. He is not effective as CDM, nor is he CAM material. He is too disconnected from games to be a Box2Box. Wandering aimlessly around causes him to have zero impact on the game. Even his back and sideways passes seems senseless because it creates zero space, zero positional advantage, and it does not even serve to spread the game. It just comes accross as a junior footballer that seems afraid of the ball. For the past few games, he’s been the main reason why Rooney is forced to drop too deep to collect. If the goal is to get re-inforcements that will ‘fit straight into the first team’ in Jan, then he should be the first to be shipped off to make space. However, I doubt it will happen because it seems that this is the type of players the club wants and favours.

  • Personally I think you are being too harsh with Cleverley, especially as you fail to see any fault in the fat useless Anderson. I am not TC’s biggest fan but he is a decent squad player.
    Also your statement the sort of player he wants and favours? Really, we tried to sign Fabregas, Herrera and we are being strongly linked to Reus, so I am not sure where you are going with that one. Moyes has inherited bar Carrick a very poor midfield. He has to take responsibility for not addressing that area in the Summer, bar spend a ludicrous amount on Fellaini. But Fergie had neglected the centre for too long and as in need of major surgery and this will take at least 2 transfer windows.

    • @Stephen:
      1. I have not even mentioned Anderson
      2. Anderson does have his many faults (in his defence however a lack of creativity is not one of them)
      3. The point of my posts are not to discuss fat Anderson, but to try and understand the fascination and obsession some people have over Cleverley. I truly cannot see it. Regardless of the fact that he is definately not my type of player. He’s been given more chances and management confidence than any other midfielder at United (bar Carrick) to prove himself. What exactly has he proven?

      If you look at the “regulars” in midfield…Cleverley, Jones, Fellaini, Young, Valencia, etc…except for “the old man Giggs” they are severely lacking in creativity. Carrick too, as good as he might be technically is also not exactly Mr. Creative either. Even Rooney dropping deep, huffing and puffing does not improve midfield creativity. (There is nothing creative about dropping deep and giving your trademark cross-field pass time and again). Where I’m going with this is that these type of players get favoured, which means of style of play will remain one-dimensional, predictable and “boring” for a long time to come. Going in for Fabregas and Ronaldo I doubt was a Moyes initiative. It was ALL for marketing and PR (to win the fans over). Think about it logically… how can he know what the team needs if he don’t know what he has? He admitted on numerous occasions that he don’t know the team at all and is only now “starting” to get to know the players and combinations.

      I agree with you that this crap started with Fergie already.

    • @Stephen: I don’t believe I’m being harsh on Cleverley…just stating the “facts” the way I see it. You are free to point out where my “facts” are incorrect. Due to the lack of entertainment content in our games, I jave to find other ways to entertain myself. Focussing on one specific player is one of them. :-)

  • :lol: I understand matey and Cleverley isn’t my particular brand of vodka either. For me Moyes should have spent money more wisely in the Summer. He looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights and went for Baines, who we don’t need and Fellaini as he needed his own allies with him, out of comfort. I am also not sure who is obsesses with Cleverley if they are they need to get a life as he isn’t worth it! For me he only plays due to the lack of options available. With Fletch and Carrick fit I think we will see less of him. Hopefully we will strengthen in the window. I will say I found the game yesterday quite exciting

    • @Stephen: thats the other thing that I just cannot get to grips with. What is this obsession with Baines? I also don’t beleive we need him. I think Moyes would be wise (and can win people over) by concentrating ONLY on midfield for the next few seasons.

    • @Stephen: I found the game exciting because I knew we could lose. This caused some sort of an adrenalin rush. Maybe its a good thing???
      I’m sorry but our gameplay does not excite me. Too predictable. Won’t mind tge occasional “out of the ordinary” pass. Even if they don’t quite pull it off. At least the intent will excite me. Januzaj seems to provide that a little, but I have to be honest and say his “Ji Sung Park”-ish going to ground iritates me a little.

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