Football is a strange game sometimes. Normally a fluent passing game makes it possible for United to dominate most PL games, but on this occassion it had gone missing. Some of the “credit” for this must go to Sunderland who were very well organized in defence and dangerous going forward.
Even Paul Scholes mis-hit several passes(!), and I think Ferguson was right to substitute him at half-time. This morning I had a look at the Guardian’s chalkboards, and Scholes in fact had a pass completion rate of 88%, the second highest among United’s midfielders and attackers. Maybe my initial reaction is a sign that I’m more or less taking it for granted that Scholes will complete just about all of his passes.
Ben Foster should have done better with the cross for Sunderland’s second goal and once again confirmed that he’s a long way from being England’s first choice keeper in South Africa, let alone the long term successor to Edwin van der Sar.
My frustration with Nani (pass completion rate: 48%) continues to grow. I don’t think he seriously troubled the Sunderland defence a single time. Maybe it’s time to send him out on loan. If possible to Coventry.
Finally I was disappointed when Sir Alex chose to attack the referee for not adding enough time and being “unfit”. I would much prefer if Ferguson gracefully accepted some responsibility himself. It certainly wasn’t Alan Wiley’s fault that we lost two points, if anything I thought he was a bit harsh when showing Kieran Richardson a red card.
Not even a spectacular finish from Dimitar Berbatov could make up for all these disappointments. But it came close.