Nov 10

Hernandez, you Little Peauty

Tag: Match Reports @ 8:06 pm

Javier Hernandez scored twice and forced an own goal as Manchester United came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Villa Park.

The Mexican, who has scored seven times in the last five games, rescued a United side that had produced one of their worst showings of the season for over an hour but have now won 15 points from losing positions so far.

United traveled to Villa Park without Jonny Evans,as Chris Smalling retained his spot in the starting XI, alongside Ferdinand, Evra and Rafael.

Valencia,Scholes, Carrick and former Villa man Ashley Young – booed incessantly during the 45 minutes he spent on the pitch – formed the midfield, with Rooney and Van Persie up front.

A lethargic first half, in which United wingers’ reluctance to take their counterparts on was nothing short of ludicrous, came to life on the stroke of halftime as Benteke held Smalling off on the left flank, before squaring the ball back to Weimann who buried it past David De Gea to send the home fans Berserk.

For all their 70% possession United had looked completely bereft of ideas and tempo and reemerged after the break with Hernandez replacing Young.

The former Villa man had a bright start to his United career but doubts persist on his ability to make a starting spot his own.

Things were about to get worse before they could get better for United, as they were cut wide open yet again by Villa’s front three, as Weimann tapped into an empty net from close range barely five minutes after the restart, putting Villa inches away from a first league win at Villa Park against United in 17 years.

They were to be denied though, by the man who would deny Weimann a spot on tomorrow’s headlines.

First, Hernandez latched onto a glorious lofted pass from Paul Scholes before holding off a defender and squeezing the ball through Guzan’s legs.

Five minutes later Rafael’s cross found the Mexican lurking at the back post, from where he side-footed the ball home, albeit via a deflection off Ron Vlaar.

De Gea denied Weimann his hat-trick with a fantastic save, but the tide had turn.

Having restored parity, United pressed on and Van Persie rattled the bar twice within a minute, first meeting a Rooney corner with his head, then with a curling effort from 20 yards out.

Cleverly and Anderson replaced Scholes and Rooney, who looked to have picked up a minor knock, before United, as they had done time again in the past, would attempt at their fans’ health with another late winner.

It came, almost inevitably, from Hernandez, who met Van Persie’s freekick with a diving header after some poor marking from Villa and sparked carnage-like scenes in the United.

The Mexican has rediscovered the goal scoring form of his first season at the club but, having added an immensely improved first touch and link-up play to his repertoire, he could well become even more important to the team.

The dubious goal panel might strip Hernandez of his hat-trick, but United won’t care one bit as they’ve come from behind yet again, maintaining the pressure on City and Chelsea.

Dan (@mufc_dan87)


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  • Where are u lil pea haters! Chicharito is on fire at the moment!

  • Are there any good angles which show whether or not Chicharito’s 2nd was on target or not?

    In my book, he gets the goal regardless… Lil Pea strikes again!!!

  • (To the tune of Let It Be)
    When I find myself in times of trouble
    Chicharito scores for me
    Javier Hernández
    Little Pea, Little Pea
    :) :) :)

  • Just waiting for few Special ones to come and teach Fergie about tactics. :roll:

  • Sell Nani and get Hummels…Title will be ensured.

  • Now the question arises, the loyalty to club & fellow team mates = Chicharito

    Disloyalty, greedy, lacking in loyalty and appreciation = Pogba. (I read only this morning that his big gobbed agent is at it again, this time blasting Juventus for Pogba not getting more playing time. Also Pogba punished by Juventus for being late to training.)

    A comparison score on ability, loyalty etc:
    Chicharito = 10+
    Pogba = 5

    Go Lil Pea.

  • In whole Europe ,Only Barcelona has dropped less points ( 5 pts. 3 against Celtic and 2 against Madrid). After that there is Man Utd with just 6 points dropped in 15 matches so far played(League + CL).

    With such a record , it really takes stupidity of highest order for someone to doubt Fergie,praise CQ(Really don’t know where he is these days) and ask to get SAF replaced by likes of Klopp .

    • @Owen: Decent point there Owen… but you have to admit it hasn’t been pretty so far this season minus 2-3 games…

      • @Opti: It has not been that bad. United has played against Chelsea,Arsenal,Pools and Newcastle and has won all the matches.We didn’t have all the players fit in that period.Still It is the only team in whole Europe to have won all the matches in CL so far.

        And if you are not satisfied with such statistics ,then why you are asking for Mourinho?He has already lost the League it seems just after 10 games.And less said about Klopp and CQ,better it will be.

        • @Owen: I am not asking for Mourinho. Also, our CL group is minced meat and doesn’t compare to City’s group, for example.

          I don’t think Jones or Vidic will make our midfield that much better nor improve our link-up play or chance creation, which is what I mean by “not pretty” :)

        • @Owen: We do have the easiest group by far in CL. Yet we have struggled before we come out on top in our group games.

    • @Owen: To add to your points:
      1) United have Europe’s 3rd HIGHEST avg passing rate: 88.3% pg (Barca=89.3%, Bayern=88.8%) :-D
      2) United have Europe’s 8th HIGHEST avg possession stat: 58.7% pg (#1=Barca with 68.4%) :wink:
      3) United have Europe’s 13th/16th HIGHEST avg shots/on target: 15.9 S/ 5.8 SOT pg (#1=Bayern with 18.9 S/8.6 SOT) :)

      4) United have Europes 47th LOWEST shots conceded per game: 12.5 S pg (#1=Bayern with just 7.1 S) :cry:

      PS: “Europe” = Top leagues in {France, England, Italy, Germany, Spain} = 98 teams,

      • @Owen: @Opti: We’ll see whether our team is a world beater in the knockout stages of the CL. The quality of the league has dropped dramatically, and we are in this position thanks to a certain RVP.

        We’ll see.

        • @Moscow: RvP is important but “only” has ~25% of our goal share. Chicharito has ~20%…

          Yes, the knockout stage will bring forth a true test of our mettle.

        • @Moscow: i dont agree the quality in the league has dropped, last season only city were our challengers, this year we have have city again but chelsea have raised the bar and unfortunately might of beat us if they didnt get playes sent off in the last game in the league, i think we are doing really well

        • @Moscow: United is better than last season, so is Chelsea, arsenal, everton, spurs and so on. City are on pair with last season and Newcastle is not as good. So PL is better not worse.

  • Fergie is too stubborn to realise our problems aren’t solely in gettin our defenders fit again(smalling’s back still goals conceded) our problem lies in his consistent use of the most static midfield ever seen in Carrick(huge flop for me) and scholes,none of them can move with the ball,carrick is soo nt a utd player..we nid anderson and fletcher back in the games regularly

  • Yeah Hernandez wasn’t a one season wonder. He is back and that bodes very well for our title chances. We need to give him games as with his goal threat he is so much more than just a super sub. I hope Ferguson keeps his promise to start him against Norwich.

    Honestly I have no idea how Ferguson can be so fussy when it comes to his strikeforce ditching two world class players in Berbatov and Tevez to arrive at this current trio of world beaters, and so blase when it comes to the rest of his team.

    We have the same firepower as we had in the Ronaldo days. But we’ve done nothing really to correct the long standing midfield problems and our defence is a million miles away from the level it was at in 2007-9.
    And you could say the same about the tactics.

    Ferguson has this obsession about not losing on goal difference but he forgets a good amount of that goal difference was because City conceded far fewer goals than us!

    • @colver: Colver I couldn’t agree with you more. A key problem is that we seem absolutely dependent on Carrick, and he, by World/European standards, is average. Static, slow, square safe balls and little craft. Yes you may say his positioning is good and he can intercept a few balls, but it’s not enough for me. And there is no competition for his DM role. It is a key position in that breaking up the opposing play and bringing the ball out of defence sets the tempo for the team, and with Carrick that means pedestrian. It is only exacerbated by playing him alongside Scholes or Giggs. Yes there are clearly other defensive frailties, but the number of times per game our defense gets exposed by other teams (even of Villa’s modest but willing means) waltzing through our MF is frankly eye-opening. Anyone watching can see that all you need to do is run at our midfield and it will part in front of you like the Red Sea.

      Meanwhile we have enough attacking midfielders/wingers to make a team on their own – which often is what seems to end up happening (Anderson, Giggs, Cleverly, Young, Kagawa, Powell, Scholes, Nani, Valencia etc). For how long have we been saying there is a lack of balance in this squad?? We play this way against modest opposition and are just about getting away with it. But we will get found out against the the better European sides for sure. They will not concede like mid table Premier League teams and would certainly score more against us than the Villa’s of this world did today. Believe me, I’m not advocating a return to the drab 1-0’s of last season, but for crying out loud, let’s bring in an established central defender and a ready made, World Class midfielder with some presence, tempo and drive that can transform this side from wannabees into one that can seriously compete for the Champions League trophy.

      • @ForeverRed: JayWire will have a field day with this comment, if he is so inclined :wink: :wink:

      • @ForeverRed: Joao Moutinho looks good. But he’s 26 years old. Fergie might want someone a bit younger that he can mold.

        Victor Wanyama also looks good as well and he’s 21 so Fergie might be more inclined. I’m sure he has some scouts watching him.

        Lars bender would also be a great option at 23.

        I really hope Fergie buys in the January Window: Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez please! (sell Nani)

        What say you ForeverRed ?

        • @The_Philosopher: Philosopher – My first choice would have been without question Javi Martinez. His ability to play as either commanding centre half or as equally well as a box-to-box midfielder would have been perfect for us. Since he’s now off the radar I’d probably be looking at Kevin Strootman as second choice. Not seen that much of Wanyama tbh, but will be keeping an eye on his development. Also, there’s a lot of good names bandied around, but many of them are more AMs and I think we’re already struggling fitting in what we’ve got in that department. No.1 priority is providing some steel and energy to our team’s defensive make-up.

  • There is no end to the comeback skills of our club.
    When we’re behind by one goal we take a breath, when we’re behind by two we go into “kill” mode. It’s like waving the proverbial red flag to a mad bull – they better have a way to avoid the charge.

    Not that we don’t put ourselves in that position to begin with. In this young season we’ve got behind in 10 of our games and went on to win 8 of them – not bad considering our awful defense and its lack of cover.
    Our heart is clearly there! We want to win and we will push hard to do it. We have a positive direction and the will to overcome diversity, we are generally capable of doing it as well.
    I wonder what if, if we come up against sterner competition and they know how to parry the charge of a bull. Wouldn’t it be easier to resolve the issue by strengthening the back line and pursuing a stronger CMF ?? Well, that’s another story for another day. Today we overcame another bad start and we did it with style.

    • @Redrich: Agreed mate. Also to me this game was like a tale of two managerial decisions that impacted this game, for one manager it mean’t victory, for the other disaster. Villa Manager taking off Ireland was a mistake. Ireland had padlocked Scholesy, and had not let him breathe or do any of what he can do whenever he is free to play as only scholesy can. Ireland didn’t let him do that. When Ireland went scholesy could contribute. Fergie brought on Hernandez immediately truly early, rather than leaving it much later in game to sub as he normally does. He knew we needed a goal and quick, and the early substitution was master stroke and brought its rewards. Hernandez has only one aim whenever he is on a football field, and that is to get that ball in the net as quickly and as often as possible. He is singleminded about that, and pity some of our other strikers don’t have that same singleminded mission. :-D

      • @Craig Mc: Yeah and that’s the problem with jumping all over Ferguson. With every bad move he uncannily makes a ton of good ones. He’s either lucky or good – and you’d think his luck would’ve run out by now.
        Go figure!! :wink:

      • @Craig Mc: Yeah pleasantly surprised by the early sub of Hernandez. Fergie usually lets his team suffer in the wrong formation until about the 68th minute before he considers a change.

        But its the price you pay, I guess, for having a manager like Sir Alex Ferguson. He will win you trophies but he won’t win them the way you want him to win them.

    • @Redrich: not sure we had a “bad start” per se, but we were impotent/toothless for more than 60 minutes. Despite consuming 70% of possession, from the start of the game and throughout first half, we rarely tested Guzan’s goal… once we turned on the throttle, Villa had no response.

  • When Paul Scholes finally retires his legacy will be firmly rooted in years past. He is arguably the best MF’er to perform at our club and probably in the PL overall. He just oozes with skill and vision and is a wonderful example for the younger players that will follow him – and it’s hard to imagine one that could surpass him.

    In today’s game he did what you might expect, he sprayed the ball around and made himself the distribution center for our build-ups. He did what everyone would’ve thought. Problem is, his predictability gave Villa the opportunity to defend effectively against him.
    The buildups were slow and pedestrian in nature and were all started by Scholes. His accuracy was off and his awareness was flat and that, too often, gave the impetus in the MF to Villa.
    We’ve seen it with Giggs, and now we see the gray hairs growing into Scholes’ game too. The time for him is close – take your bow for a second time and let the younger players follow.

    • @Redrich: Scholes isn’t done yet. If we just use him properly he can prove to be very valuable.

      if you play Paul Scholes in midfield there are two things you cannot expect him to do. 1 run around chasing the ball down, applying pressure to the opposition. 2 tackle or defend/protect our back four. At his age he is a defensive liability.

      What he does offer though is the ability to dictate the tempo of the game going forward. His passing game is still world class and so when we do play Scholes we need to know that someone is gonna have to cover for him in midfield to firstly win the ball back and secondly defend our back four.

      And then we need another midfielder to play along side him. So if you wanna play Scholes you have to play another player to cover for him and a third midfielder to play alongside him. Its kind of like cricket when a batsman is injured and can’t run he gets a runner to run for him. He continues to bat and score but someone else does the running for him. Same thing with Scholes. He has the quality, someone else just needs to run for him.

      You would probably have to play Scholes, Cleverly and Carrick in midfield in order to have a solid competitive midfield. Or Scholes Jones, Carrick.

      Scholes would roam around and play however he wants and Clevery Carrick would have to do the regular midfield duties.

  • Difficult to imagine why Welbeck kept getting d nod ahead of lil Pea.Pea’s 1st touch seems better dis days and his movt remains 1st class.
    Secondly I’m upset by Uniteds inability to play 4rm d middle,d over reliance on wingplay is sickening.Carrick won’t make d first team of any of our felloow title contenders, and he’s always assured a starting berth in d Utd line up.Hope Wanyama is signed up in the summer, he appears to have d power dat all our midfielders lack.Long live United!!!!

  • i dont know about anyone else but at least watching united this year is fresh of breath air compared to last seasons boring performances, if anything united are exciting this year

  • Left wing really needs sorting out,Young was garbage yesterday.
    I will never understand the need to splash out 16 million on him and not buy a Centre Mid.Yes,he does have some good days and produces some outstanding goals but then so does Nani.And if we really needed someone on the left wing who can hardly cross with his left foot we can just leave Welbeck out there.I wonder how kagawa would do there while being allowed to drift in,heard he did a few times for Dortmund but not sure how effective he was.

    Fair play to Fergie for that substitution,gave Hernandez more than enough time to make an impact.
    Scholes’s pass for the first goal was like poetry :)

    United,United….Top of the league 8)

  • With Rooney, RVP and Hernandez, I think Man Utd will get 100 league goals this season.

  • Great result again on Saturday, the character of the side is immense. We cannot defend which is a worry and should De Gea saved the first goal? Young was awful, he has been really poor so far this season, for me I play Rooney out wide and start with the Little Pea. Midfield is still a concern, for me Carrick hasn’t been good this season, Scholes looked his age and Cleverley and Anderson haven’t convinced. The manager got his subs spot on this weekend and deserves credit, there are some here who want to see him go which is totally baffling. We have ridden our luck so far and you need that if you are going to win the title, hats off to the lads but we still need to improve.

  • @Owen- I don’t know whether it’s unclear to you or you really believe ferguson should not be questioned. I know fully well that we are winning,but most times its heart in mouth stuff. Dont forget that last season we started out scoring for fun and were generally consistent at it. But we were also conceding badly.This season we are really worse at it. Every game we play you can easily bet your house on us conceding at least twice. We have really laboured to win games and just like last season other teams will find us out. Counter attack seems to be the choice for most of our opponents this season. Why? They seem to have figured out that you dont need many chances to score against us. Each time we are attacked you feel like we will concede. Villa didnt attack relentlessly. All their goals were counters and the rest were point blank save or ridiculous miss. I think they attacked 6 or so times the whole game. All counters and very good opportunities. Why are we so vulnerable? Both CMs attacking

    • @Jay wire: So what is the answer then Jay, sack Fergie?

      • @Stephen: I think the answer is: FIX THE MIDFIELD and you shall be rewarded: Just get Wanayma and swallow the Pogba loss/mistake. Then play with a HOLDING MIDFIELDER who screens the defense and prevents easy counter-attacking options.

        That lad Pogba can play… and we all knew that. Too bad United got stingy with wages and were unwilling to trust Pogba past experienced midfielders like Fabio/Rafael..

    • @Jay wire: There are always better players available unless you have Messi or Ronaldo in your team.But you can’t do anything in November.You have the squad and simple objective is to win which Fergie is achieving at the moment.

      At the start of season ,United were not the favorite beecause City and Chelsea assembled some serious team with lots of money.Still we have the best record in Europe after Barca .So give the credit .

      Regarding CMs,i know you rate Carrick as one of the best player in world and i rate Scholes.So it can be said we have best pair of CMs with us.

      • @Owen: We are winning, but we have been somewhat lucky, but you need to be wen you win titles. Talking about replacing the manager is ludacrous, the signing of RvP was a masterstoke. We have also had our captain and best defender injured as well as his two bck up defenders. Fergie is far from blamless, his playing square pegs in round holes and the lack of a midfield player in the summer made many of us scratch our heads. But the table doesn’t lie, we are top and it feels great :-P

  • Stephen,I think its a bit obvious we are lagging behind technically and for me to wish it were not so cant be that wicked. We are conceding because we are set up technically to concede. Against United your plan is simply defend the 2 goal headstart handed by the team sheet by counterattack. The goals on Sat are good examples. One had Scholes losing the ball edge of Villa box with Carrick beside him and a huge gap behind both. Villa played it forward then wide right and Valencia and Rafael began the flag to flag sprint. Meanwhile Weiman is sprinting through the middle vacuum,with the rest of the Utd squad hopelessly chasing. It was now virtually Villa widemen vs Smalling,Rio and DDG. They have to attack the wide players but Weiman is charging down the middle,totally unmarked. Its hopeless because the defenders are outnumbered and retreating. Goal. Replay same situation,but with Carrick holding in front of defence. Hope you get my point.

  • Oh, and someone here says we did well by ridding ourselves of Pogba as he has been late for training twice this week. Great. Im sure St Rooney,Father Evans and Brother Phil Jones will join in the condemnation. So much for not being good enough. What a loss. People talking about names like Vincent Wanyama etc and yet Pogba has outshone top midfielders in Italy. He has been named man of the match twice in the league already,and in the Champions League and is scoring superb goals. He has been so good that Italys main sports daily has blamed Juventus defeat to Inter last week on Pogbas absence. Lets not forget Juve currently have one of the worlds best midfields. Big leap from not being good enough to play ahead of Park and Rafael in midfield, to shining alongside the likes of Pirlo,Marchisio,Asamoah and Vidal and being man of the match in a top of the table clash with freakin Napoli. Nice one Fergie.

    • @Jay wire: In fairness Jay no one really knows why he left. His agent was whoring him to the highest bidder, but his lack of game for us didn’t help.
      Rafael was totally to blame for the second goal, he was out of postion which enabled the croos to come in. The first goal was simply that Smalling was out muscled, you can find fault in any goal, but tactics were not to blame.

    • @Jay wire: Fergie said he did all he could to keep Pogba, but in the end he felt that Pogba was messing around, and you know what Fergie is like with difficult agents, and Pogba’a agent was wanting to be extortionate on wages, so United let him go. I have noticed every time somebody leaves OT they NEVER stop talking about our club, and Pogba is turning out no different, it is like they can’t get over leaving OT and focusing on their new club – go figure eh? Then you have got Pogba crying United never showed him any respect – give me a break!

  • Yeah we have ourselves to blame for Pogba. Ferguson made the mistake of treating him like the English players expecting him to wait his turn and sign on the dotted line when he is told. No doubt once he started making demands for game time and haggling over his contract Ferguson decided to refuse him games until he signed which proved to be the perfect way (doh!) to drive him into the arms of Juventus.

    Maybe Pogba isn’t as good as we think he is. But I find it hard to believe that a player can play regularly for Juventus and not start a single game for us in a season in which our already weak midfield was berefit with injury problems. Pogba certainly made the right decision.

    • @colver: I will say time will tell if he made the right decision. Also people have stated because he didn’t start ahead of Park and Rafael was the reason he left, I fail to see if not starting one game would make his mind up to leave. He has clearly got an agent who was whoring him to the highest bidder. Fergie should have given him more game time no doubt, but his record with young players is very good. Personally I feel he could be the one who got away, lets see how he gets on.
      I do find it odd that Fergie was talking the lad up at the beginning of last season but failed to play him more. Obviously his critics will claim he is tactically inept ect, but they has also been questions of an attitude problem. Maybe he was trying to teach him some discipline I don’t know, but I wish he was still with us.

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