It was an utterly straightforward victory for Manchester United at the weekend, strolling to the right result against a QPR team that more than deserves its placing at the very foot of the table. Dominating the first half, and never looking too troubled in the second, United should only be annoyed that they didn’t win by more.
Rafael’s lightning bolt and Giggs’ well worked second were enough to kill off the tie, but Robin Van Persie got more headlines for that collision with the cameras. His early substitution and probable rest for the upcoming Norwich game has brought some of the fitness issues surrounding back to the fore, and would remain concerned that his previous proneness to injury could return. If course, there are a multitude of attacking options available to fill in for him min the event of an absence, not least Danny Welbeck, who has been enjoying a good streak of form in the last little while.
United also strolled through a very underwhelming FA Cup encounter last Monday, putting Reading out with two second half goals having dominated the vast majority of the game. A late slip left the Royals with some hope, but it really was as pedestrian as they come, the sort of game where you are just waiting for United to score. A lot of those kind of games lately., but this is the reward for that absolutely punishing schedule earlier in the season.
The big game was City/Chelsea of course, and the Champions came through what was a really stern test with flying colours, definitively stating that this is most assuredly a two horse race. I’m not sure what to make of Chelsea, after yet another spending spree and another year of not quite making the grade in England. I suppose there are just too many managerial issues at play in that club, too much owner control, too much pressure. They should be doing better at any rate. City are still well behind, but have 33 points still to fight for. I think the big aim is to be within single digit points by the time they visit Old Trafford in early April. It should also be noted that, as it stands, United are practically 13 points clear with seven goals on City. All City can do is win their games and hope for a blip.
Newcastle with a valuable come from behind win against Southampton. I would have pegged the Toon Army as likely relegation candidates, but they appear to have pulled their act together just a little bit. Anyone of six teams could join QPR in relegation it looks like, as far up as West Ham. Arsenal might be crashing out of Europe but there are at least keeping touch with the top four and could easily slip into third with the right set of results. Spurs should take that spot for the meantime with a win tonight, further dooming the Chelsea tenure of Benitez.
Last bit of this post goes to Swansea, who just plain mauled Bradford to win the League Cup. Funny that such a team is the one, rather than Arsenal, to finally figure out Bradford, or maybe they were just fortunate enough to get the first goal, and that resulted in the League Two sides gameplan collapsing. Either way, its just reward for the awesome team they’ve been able to bring together.