Last weekend, I ventured to Old Trafford for my first visit of the season, my first time seeing Louis Van Gaal’s United in the flesh.
With two successive wins, including a 2-1 win at Arsenal the previous weekend, there was an air of positivity around United for the first time in a while.
However, it’s not all positivity, as United’s injuries reach farcical levels, to the point where Ashley Young is playing at left-back.
United had some early attacks, but nothing much came of them.
As the quarter hour approached, another injury for United, as Angel Di Maria left the action early. As soon as he signaled to the bench, you could he the sound of 76,000 people groaning as one.
I must bring bad luck to Di Maria. Last match I was at he was involved in, he was an unused sub. Ander Herrera came on for him, and was instantly involved, starting the attacked which resulted in the corner which resulted in United taking the lead, when a goalmouth scramble fell to Chris Smalling, who fired home. Or did he?
Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor caught the ball, and there was a bit of a delay before the referee decided it was over the line. TV replays proved the decision to be correct.
Talking of TV replays, I was in the back row, next to the corporate boxes, so when there was an incident of note, I could just turn around and sneak a view of a replay from their TVs.
United were in control, but were frustrated at not being able to get a second goal, just to be sure. That came just before half-time when Robin Van Persie set up Wayne Rooney to fire home from outside the box. It was game over.
Hull had a relatively strong start to the second-half, but couldn’t get a goal they hoped would kickstart a fightback.
United regained control, with Robin Van Persie coming alive when the ball came near him, having a diving header (not quite as spectacular as his World Cup effort against Spain) saved, albeit he was offside.
On 66 minutes, Van Persie got the goal he craved when he fired home from the edge of the box. You could see what the goal meant to him.
Game over, it was time to bring on the subs, most notably, Radamel Falcao, returning after a month long lay-off. Falcao was desperate for a goal, getting into goalscoring positions from set pieces, but the ball wouldn’t fall to him.
Ironically, the ball came to him when he least expected it, after Juan Mata, clean through decided to pass to him when it looked like he would score. Falcao followed it up when blocked by a Hull defender, perhaps a bit too aggressively.
So, a goal for Van Persie, Falcao back in action, a win and a clean sheet, definite signs of positivity. Not sure when i’ll next be back at Old Trafford, definitely at some point in 2015. I’m looking at either Arsenal or Tottenham. I might even head over for a Champions League game next season. Or is it too early to suggest such a thing?