Like a game of hide-and-seek in Tottenham’s new trophy cabinet, there was nowhere for Jose Mourinho to hide this week. An away trip to the mighty Juventus followed by a Manchester Derby at the Emptihad was seen by many, me included, as mission impossible for Mourinho’s United.
How wrong we all were. United are back! And we’re going to win the Treble! Or bring Lukaku back into the side and drop back to battling with West Ham for tenth.
Seriously though, who knows what the future holds for United? Rivals are furious, Ronaldo’s wonder goal means nothing, and the anti-United press have been silenced like a City fan in a sing off. Last night’s sensational win in Turin has stunned the footballing world and as United fans it’s fantastic to witness.
We beat Juventus two one in their own back yard. A Juventus side that is without question one of the best sides in the world right now and one of the firm favourites to win the Champions League. Yes they had chances to put the game beyond United’s reach but if you don’t take those chances you can’t cry “injustice” when we go up the other end and steal the game with a late surge of passion, determination and quality. Winners take their chances and winners keep going to the end.
The only team that did that last night was Manchester United.
As for Ronaldo, sorry but I still love the guy. Normally when United concede I spend the following five minutes in a permanent state of rage blaming everyone from Chris Smalling to Theresa May for how United have let a goal in. But Ronaldo’s goal last night was stunning and I doubt there were any football fan, let alone a United fan, who didn’t sit back and admire it no matter how much it hurt.
Some United fans have criticised him for pulling his top up and celebrating but ex United player or not, if I’d scored a goal like that, I’d still be running round the Allianz Stadium naked now. And if the ref wanted to book me for it, he’d have to catch me first.
The fact is Manchester United didn’t even try to bring Ronaldo back in the summer so there can be no hard feelings that he’s gone on to a new challenge to fight for the top titles as he always has. For me he’ll always be a United legend but time moves on. He’s still the best in the world at what he does and last night proved that. Which makes it all the more satisfying that we sat him down and won.
So what next for United in the Manchester Derby?
More of the same hopefully. Rival fans, the press, telling us we’ve got no chance then we end the game with another massive three points. Yes City are playing superbly at the moment but everybody knows a Derby is a great leveller and on top of that United have this mental hold on teams now, where no matter how well you start we’ll come back and beat you in the end.
We’re like that suspicious grass stain on your best pair of trousers. No matter how much effort you put in to make us disappear, we’ll always come back to remind you of past mistakes.
There is concern though. City score lots of goals and don’t concede many, whereas United do the opposite. Mourinho’s United are still very much a work in progress while Pep’s City are a fine tuned side so in touch with each other they could probably play in blindfolds and still beat Cardiff four nil. So a draw wouldn’t be a bad result for us and that’s what I’m going for. A one one draw that neither side can moan too much about and more importantly for United, keeps that momentum rolling. Will we do it? One thing’s for sure. No one would bet against us at the moment.