I wonder how many years United have taken off of my life due to their poor starts this season? Manchester United had to do it again, as Braga scored two within the first 20 minutes (the first after 90 seconds). Yet two goals from Javier Hernandez either side of one from Jonny Evans meant it is 9 points from 9 in the Champions League this season.
With Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra rested, Micheal Carrick stepped in at CB and Alexandra Buttner at LB, and both did not cover themselves in glory. Buttner let Alan get in front of him for the first to head home from a high cross. And Micheal Carrick got turned far far too easily for the second, letting another cross be delivered after there was little danger. It was Alan once again who profited to slide home past David De Gea. It really was a horror show back there for the first 20. Too many times we have said this in the early days of the season, and it needs tightening up badly, with us travling to Stamford Bridge on sunday.
It wasn't long before we pulled one back however. Robin Van Persie was fouled, yet the Referee deserves alot of credit for allowing the advantage as the ball fell at the feet of Shinji Kagawa. Right on cue, Chicarito pulled off his man at the back post and was in miles of space. The ball from the Japanese star was lifted wonderfully well and the hit man finished it well.
It was all United there on in, yet we still struggled to find an equalizer. It was getting to the stage where Braga was probably just believing for the first time since the first went in that they could hold out for a victory, when Jonny Evans snaffled one in from a corner. It was a really ugly goal, yet they all count.
And the third wasn't too far away. The ball came in from the right hand side, into the back post where Hernandez once again had found space. He headed home his second with ease. In all truth, he was excellant all night. He should have had a hat trick, yet Kagawa was wrongly ruled off side before squaring it to the Mexican. His off the ball movement has always been wonderful. But he seems to have improved his work when on the ball, and as a focal point. The ball is sticking slightly more with him. His passing is also slightly better from previous seasons. The one moment when all of these improvements were on show was in the second half. He had a number of men around him right next to the touch line. He shrugged the defenders off, turned and then used his pace to get at the defence. To finish, he played a wonderful pass with the outside of his foot to Nani who should have buried it. Really wonderful stuff, and im pleased after a difficult second season last year.
Chelsea lost tonight away to Shakhtar Donetsk. Im not sure if that is a good or bad thing, as they sure as hell will be gunning for a victory at home to us on Sunday to extend their lead in the Premier League. Make sure you join us for build up and coverage for what is the biggest domestic game of the season so far.