This week gave Sir Alex Ferguson another chance to partake in his favourite pastime of Liverpool baiting. After comprehensively outplaying Roy Hodgson’s side on Saturday, Sir Alex went on to claim that Liverpool “didn’t offer anything” and were only allowed back into the game because of poor officiating.
The latter may be partially true at least, but for all Berbatov’s buckets of natural talent and all the sublime football being played up front there is no denying United have problems in defence and these frailties, not the referee, were the reason Gerrard was able to net twice in the match.
With Rio Ferdinand still on his way back from injury, the backline doesn’t look the as secure as when the England captain is in it. Jonny Evans was at fault for the penalty after a last-ditch lunge at Torres in the box which resulted in Gerrard scoring from the spot, and a gaping hole in the defensive wall was the culprit when the Liverpool captain found the back of the net from a free-kick on the edge of the box.
The story of the day though was, of course, Berbatov’s excellence. Two years of underachievement have finally been turned round for the Bulgarian, who is now being hailed as the new Cantona among some United supporters. Indeed, his casual nature, natural talent and the ability to be able to play gorgeous football while seemingly walking or looking at his watch do seem reminiscent of the Frenchman, it was about time Berbatov found the form that he enjoyed at Tottenham and justified his £30 million price tag.
Another Manchester underachiever coming good is Nani. After struggling to find his feet, or indeed his role, at Old Trafford, the 24-year-old was electric to watch against Liverpool. His pace, skill and creativity are signs of a player who has matured, and he was vital to United’s attacking potency which threatened on more than one occasion to overwhelm Liverpool. Many people make Manchester United betting tips for the title this season, but Berbatov and Nani will have to keep playing well if they are to succeed.
The next few Premier League games should see the side gain some ground on Chelsea, who have tough run in October. In their next game, United face Bolton and the Bolton betting tips suggest the Red Devil sshould pick up three points.
Sunderland, West Brom and Stoke follow, although games against Scunthorpe in the Carling Cup, and Champions League ties with Valencia and Bursaspor will stretch the squad further, but one suspects Scunthorpe and Bursaspor will face young sides to keep legs fresh.
Sir Alex is going to need to manage his squad perfectly this season if his United side are going to be able to challenge a very strong looking Chelsea.