Wolves’ resistance undone thanks to centurion Scholes
Wolves 0-1 Manchester Utd: Observations
The result says it all. This was a laboured victory for Manchester United as they had struggled and lacked any killer instinct for much of the game. An unconvincing win but indeed a very crucial one as United look for a fourth successive league title.
Without Wayne Rooney, United had looked lost throughout and it took a classy Paul Scholes goal to spare a few blushes. That was Paul Scholes’ 100th Premier League goal, only the 19th player to do so. How important would that goal be come the end of the season? Age is simply a number in Scholes’ case, and many United fans would hope that he isn’t planning to hang his boots up any time soon.
The outcome could have been different had Sam Vokes not missed the sitter in the dying seconds in this rather unpleasant encounter. Seasons are defined by those kind of misses for both title chasers and relegation battlers. The disgust on the Wolverhampton faithful was apparent. And somewhere plush in London, Arsene Wenger and Carlo Ancelotti were shouting expletive-filled comments at their TV sets. If Vokes had scored, or buried a header that followed seconds later you may argue that it would’ve been a fair result.
Chances were hard to come by, and when they did come most were squandered. Both Gibson and Valencia had great chances to put United ahead early in the first half but neither effort was on target. If one of those chances had been scored so early on, it may have set the tone for a far more open, eventful game. But ‘eventful’ it was not, this game hardly a spectacle to warrant a TV slot.
It took a neat finish by Paul Scholes to break the deadlock on the 72nd minute but it was by far a game to savour for him, quiet for large parts of the game. For Dimitar Berbatov, inspirational against Aston Villa in the Cup Final last week, it was a funny game that perfectly describes his United career so far. One minute he’s doing sublime the next he’s largely ineffective. He has created an understanding partnership with both Rooney and Valencia in recent weeks, but without the former he and the latter failed to really click. There are some positives, though, as Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic were reunited in the heart of United’s defence, unscathed surprisingly enough.
That all hardly matters, however, as this was one of those games where the result meant more than the spectacle itself. This was the kind of game you get at this time of year, when the bum is fully squeaking, the gritty, scrappy sort which all eventual title winners experience. If you are to win a Premier League title, these are the games that really matter and three points go a very long way. It cannot be stressed how valuable these three points are. United have reached the summit, the question is whether they’ll still be there come May time.