Analysis Opinion Insight

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Have We Dashed Our Title Hopes?

Following Manchester United's disapointing 3-1 defeat at the hands of Everton at Goodison Park, Chelsea have extended their lead to four points at the summit of the Barclays English Premier League. In form Didier Drogba bagged a brace to secure the London club all three points at the Molineux against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Earlier in the day though, hearts sank across Manchester as the Red Devils found another way to throw points away in a campaign fast becoming forgettable. After early pressure, particularly on Valencia's right flank, United opened the scoring on 16 minutes. Brilliant holding up, followed by a cracker of a shot produced Dimitar Berbatov's 5th in goal in as many Premier League starts. The positive start had the away fans in full voice, unfortunately though, the sounds were silenced just three minutes later when Diniyar Bilyaletdinov produced a scorcher to leave Wes Brown and Edwin Van Der Sar stranded and level proceedings on 19 minutes.

After clever link up play with Berbatov, Rooney had the next effort on goal but failed to capitalise. Berbatov was then replaced after 66 minutes by Paul Scholes, Park off for Gabriel Obertan, and the Reds reverted to 4-5-1 with Rooney up front on his own and three men to win back territory in the middle of the pitch. It wasn’t effective enough and Everton looked like being the team that would score the game’s next goal. So it proved. Steven Pienaar found space on the left flank and fired a cross into the box, where substitute Dan Gosling scuffed the ball home on 76 minutes.

Reported United transfer target Jack Rodwell capped the performance with a third on 90 minutes.

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