Until Ashley Young's absurd winner to this ridiculous game, we were toying with the idea of that football scene from The Simpsons where they just pass it back and forth among themselves being the entire match report. Unfortunately, we couldn't really find a video to express what happened after, and frankly we doubt we'll find the words either, but here's our best shot.
Much here was familiar. United won. They, Angel di Maria and Wayne Rooney were appallingly bad. The football was completely sterile, static, and unimaginative. The opposition missed several gilt-edged chances. We got a slice of luck thanks to the officials. And we scored through no design of our own thanks to a disastrous blunder from the opposition.
But it was never quite like this. United weren't the worst they've been this season, not by a distance, but that was partly down to just how bad Newcastle were. Possession was an immediate given, something no effort was required to achieve. And yet United did absolutely nothing with it. Di Maria had a similar game to the weekend, with absolutely nothing coming off, Wayne Rooney was let down by a leaden touch, Marouane Fellaini continued to hinder friend and foe, and Ander Herrera wondered how exactly you play a through ball to a load of players standing stock still with their hands on their hips breathing out of their collective arsehole.
Notable incidents were few and far between. Marcos Rojo, perenially the only player who looks like he actually cares, fizzed in a remarkable outside-of-the-boot effort from 25 yards which shaved the far post to give United their only real bit of quality in the game, but a succession of deep crosses and balls over the top led to very little as Fabricio Coloccini duly swatted them all away.
For Newcastle, things were quite different. They certainly ought to have had a penalty through the silliness of Chris Smalling, and they somehow managed to make a pig's ear of a two-on-one, with Papiss Cisse guilty of a shocking effort when through on goal.
Then Van Gaal made the most depressing and bad substitution of his United career, which is quite an accolade, replacing Rojo with Michael Carrick with just a couple of minutes to go. And obviously, because the world is not fair, United immediately scored, two consecutive moments of clowncar defending in the Newcastle backline leading to Tim Krul passing the ball right to Ashley Young, who duly rolled it into a virtually empty net.
I can't really sum up the emotions here. This isn't like the 'luck' of old which all Champions and great teams have, which is born out of, among other things, persistence, determination, and an instillation of fear in the opposition. United have absolutely none of that. This is just plain old luck, pure and simple, and it's hard to see it lasting so long that we can hold off a worrying-looking push from Liverpool, assuming Arsenal manage to hold things together.
So, there you go. That was the sequence of events. Attempt to process them in your hearts however you see fit. I'm going to go and get drunk and think about something else, because as usual, while this was a very weird game, it was also entirely forgettable.