Craftsman Scholes defies age while Berbatov excels
Manchester Utd 3-0 Newcastle Utd: Observations
If you closely inspect Paul Scholes‘s birth certificate, I’m sure you’d find an error in the date of birth section. From yesterday night’s evidence, that almost certainly wasn’t a 35 year-old running the show and dictating the play so easily.
In a typical Scholes-like carefree manner, he had the all five Newcastle midfielders in his pocket and although the performance from United was good, not great, he certainly deserves most plaudits for his individual brilliance in this victory although Dimitar Berbatov continued to display his excellence on the football pitch. Scholes’s passing game had spectators purring, for there is no better passer of the ball in the English game. In total, he attempted 104 passes, more than any other player this weekend. Ginger Xavi, he is. Typically for great effect, his tackling was as bad as usual.
If he keeps this up, he can play until he’s Fergie’s age. The same can be said of Ryan Giggs, scorer of the third goal. It was an exquisite finish, a marker of intent, if you like, that he too means business in what is his 1000th campaign in top flight.
If Scholes is Batman, Berbatov played a ‘Robin’ role, only not so mediocre as in the movies. Sir Alex described his finishing as ‘careless’, and he was right only on the basis that he should have scored more. Fergie went on to say he played ‘marvellously’, and indeed he did. Aside scoring the opening goal, he was a constant threat for Newcastle, making inroads into their shabby defence, piercing his way this way and that. Lazy it was not.
The only disappointment was that Rooney cut a frustrating figure on numerous occasions, symbolic of his ineffective performance in a game in which he was substituted shortly after the hour-mark. Of course, he’ll come good soon but a goal will certainly relieve some pressure and banish the harsh words of critics for the time being. Form is temporary, class is permanent. Rooney knows that.
United were utterly dominant, but tougher tests will soon arise. They do have plenty of positives to take from this game, aside from the obvious, they defended well and kept a clean sheet. Scorer of the 2nd goal, Darren Fletcher also complimented Scholes perfectly, suffocating Newcastle’s middle men and from the offset, allowed the home side to control the game. United should be satisfied, but you can’t help but feel Paul Scholes isn’t quite as. Knowing Scholes, he’ll always strive to improve. Problem is, that it may be difficult to top this performance.
Ratings: Van der Sar 7, O’Shea 6, Vidic 7, Evans 6, Evra 7; Valencia 7, Fletcher 7, Scholes 9, Nani 7; Berbatov 8, Rooney 5. Subs: Chicharito 6, Giggs 8, Rafael 6