This week Manchester United signed promising young striker Javier "Chicarito" Hernandez. The 21 year Mexican currently plays for Chivas de Guadalajara and will join United in the summer. Along with the return to fitness of John O'Shea and a thumping 6-1 victory for the reserves, it was a fantastic week. Oh, except we went crashing out of the Champions League.
I was really upset by the result in midweek, even more so than in the loss to Chelsea. I wasn't upset about the performance, it's just that going out on away goals after being ahead 3-0 is a tough pill to swallow. I thought we were the better side, and if we played Bayern 10 times we would win 7 of them. But football doesn't work that way. The first half was fantastic, Nani looked like he was going to emulate Messi's stunning performance against Arsenal and lead us to the semis. But another piece of lax defending (Carrick was far too weak against Olic) led to a sloppy goal and turned the momentum against us. Rafael's red card at the start of the second half--which was the right decision no matter what Sir Alex might think-- meant that it was always going to be difficult to hold on. Robben's goal was absolutely brilliant, but that doesn't make it a good way to go out. I guess we've all just been a bit spoiled by the last two years, going out in the quarters is respectable. But when you think that only a frail Lyon team was between us and a third straight final, Wednesday was an opportunity missed.
No in-depth ratings this time, but obviously Nani deserves a special mention for his performance. It was good to see Gibson starting and his right foot hammered home another great goal. Valencia played well, and I think that even thought Rooney was hobbled his presence and hold-up play justified Ferguson's gamble. Carrick had another poor day, and Rafael ruined a solid night by picking up two stupid yellows. Anyway, we play Blackburn in a few hours. Rooney is out but O'Shea may start.
One last thing, as I watched "El Clasico" (Madrid v. Barca) today I found myself rooting for Ronaldo. So I guess I do have some sympathy for the (ex)devil. But seriously, have you guys forgiven him--if he even did anything wrong--or do you root for him to fail? Highlights of the Bayern match and of "Chicarito" below. I'm quite excited about the signing and he keeps with the theme of signing promising youngsters (Chris Smalling) instead of established stars. I hadn't really heard any rumors about him--although I did read about him in the most recent FourFourTwo, but apparently he was scouted thoroughly all season. This may be stereotypical, but unlike most Mexican players he is not just a quick dribbler, but is quite strong in the air. Looks a good signing.
Chicarito - Manchester United ( New Mexican Star) (via VibbeTube)
Javier Hernandez "Chicharito" (via jkrockbachoko)