Between the Lines

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

Four penalties and a breakthrough

Posted by hakanrylander on March 2, 2009

The Carling Cup is perhaps not the most prestigious trophy in world football, but it was still a very satisfying win if not a great performance. In the end the game was won by United’s coolness in the penalty shoot-out, and the decisive factor was experience of high-pressure situations. All four United players who took the penalties (Giggs, Tevez, Ronaldo and Anderson) faced the same task in Moscow nine months ago. Yesterday must have felt like a Sunday League shoot-out by comparison.

Two players stood out. Ben Foster delivered a breakthrough performance that won him the Man-of-the-match award in front of Fabio Capello. If he (Foster, that is) can stay clear of injuries, and get a few more games for United, it surely won’t be long before he plays for England again. After all, the competition for places isn’t terrifying. My personal MotM-award goes to Rio Ferdinand.

I applaud Fergson’s decision to play some of the youngsters and fringe players in this final, but it was obvious that both Welbeck and Gibson were out of their depths. More worrying was the slack defending that allowed Aaron Lennon lots of space that he used to good effect. The main culprit was Nani. There is no way that Lennon would have been able to shine so brightly if Park Ji-Sung had played in left midfield as he would have provided a lot more support for Evra.

Meanwhile in the PL, Liverpool, Villa and Arsenal all dropped points. Not a bad weekend, really.


One Response to “Four penalties and a breakthrough”

  1. The Gaffer said

    Maybe SAF should also use his youngsters for the FA CUP final. (If we make it!) They’re performances this season has suprised many United fans, including me.

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