Between the Lines

"Of all unimportant subjects, football is the most important" – Pope John Paul II

Chelsea 1 United 1

Posted by hakanrylander on September 22, 2008

This was a big improvement on previous performances this season. For the first half-hour United looked back to their best. The move involving Rooney, Evra and Berbatov that led to the goal was vintage United, and Rio Ferdinand almost scored after surging forward “Mattias Sammer-style” (please do this more often, Rio!). Unfortunately we failed to keep up the pressure, Chelsea were the better team in the second half and a draw was a fair result.

At the kick-off I was disappointed that Ferguson (against my recommendations!) played both Neville and Evans. I was right about Gary but wrong about Jonny. It’s a mystery to me why Wes Brown isn’t first choice at right-back. He was obviously fit enough to sit on the bench. Maybe Neville just needs a few games to get back to his best, but Stamford Bridge is not the place for match practice. Jonny Evans on the other hand was brilliant. He looked even more comfortable than against Villareal. My only concern is that his opportunities will be limited behind Vidic and Ferdinand.

Afterwards, Ferguson complained about the seven yellow cards (including three for dissent) that United received. Instead he should consider himself lucky that Scholes and Neville didn’t receive the red cards they deserved.


  • Van der Sar  5  Looks less confident than he used to.
  • Neville  5  Lacks pace these days. I can’t understand why Ferguson prefers him to Wes Brown.
  • Ferdinand  8  Our best player. As usual.
  • Evans  7  Justified his selection. Very impressive.
  • Evra  7  Created the goal.
  • Hargreaves 6  Stifled the threat from Cole and Malouda.
  • Fletcher  6  Solid.
  • Scholes 5  Lucky to stay on the pitch after several bad tackles.
  • Park  6  Industrious as ever.
  • Rooney  6  Still waiting for the real Wayne.
  • Berbatov  6  Excellent during the first 20 min but faded. Give him time.


  • Kuszczak  6  Solid performance but maybe he could have reached the cross before Kalou did. 
  • Ronaldo  6  Looked lively for a while.
  • O’Shea  Not enough time to be rated.

2 Responses to “Chelsea 1 United 1”

  1. The “new faces” merit a presentation!
    How about a piece on Evans?

  2. hakanrylander said

    Coming up!

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