It’s sad to see my darling Manchester United degenerate to the level of changing managers more times than I have been on a trip out of Lagos since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013. I’m beginning to get tired of all these and even though Jose Mourinho wasn’t pulling his weight in terms of tactical know how I remain a fan. So long Jose.
Out goes Jose Mourinho, in comes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (OSG) who was dubbed the Baby-faced Assassin in his playing days as a Manchester United player. He was also known as a super-sub for his knack of coming off the bench to score goals. The most memorable moments of him for me was when he came of the bench to score the winner (2:1) against Bayern Munich which gave United the Champions League trophy in 1999, another was when he came off the bench to score 4 goals against Notthingham Forest in a league match (8:1) also in the same year.
He’s aged with experience but the babyface can be regarded as a mainstay. Solskjaer who still has ties with Molde FK in Norway as their manager was appointed by United to manage the team till end of the season in a caretaker capacity. His first game in charge as United manager was against Cardiff City FC, a team he once managed for 9 months.
Cardiff boasted of only 4 Premier League wins this season before kick off and so anything short of 3 points for United was not acceptable. It was the 3rd time both sides were meeting in the EPL with United winning one and drawing one in the previous two ties. The OSG reign started with a 3rd minute goal by Marcus Rashford, it was a well taken free kick. The Red Devils went ahead to get a second through another lovely strike by Ander Herrera in the 29th minute. Man Utd were cruising with lovely attacking football but were brought back to earth when Cardiff were awarded a penalty. Victor Camarasa didn’t waste time in putting the ball in the net to make scores 1:2 in the 38th minute but it was obvious United were going to get another goal before the break. They sure did, United’s top scorer Anthony Martial popped up with the goods to make scores 1:3 in the 41st minute. It was the Frenchman’s 8th goal of the season. Half time scores 1:3 in Manchester United’s favour.
United picked up from where they stopped, constantly attacking the Cardiff City half and in the 56th minute Jesse Lingard was fouled in the City box and the ref pointed to the spot for a penalty. Lingard stepped up to put the ball past Neil Etheridge in goal for Cardiff. 1:4, there was no way Cardiff was recovering from this. The scoreline didn’t deter the Red Devils from attacking and and just before the final whistle was blown, Lingard scored his second of the night to end the game 1:5 in United’s favour.
In all fairness it’s has been a while I have seen a Manchester United side play interesting football like this and to not have scored 5 goals in a League match since Sir Alex Ferguson left shows how awful we have been going forward but this is Cardiff City and everyone tries to impress a new manager in their first game.
I really want OSG to succeed but one thing is clear, he wants to play attacking football.
It has been a beautiful weekend of Premier League football barring the Liverpool win over Wolverhampton Wanderers but for Chelsea and Manchester City to lose to Leicester City and Crystal Palace respectively at their home grounds, there was surely something to cheer about.
United host Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day with 8 other games taking place on that day. Little wonder why the English Premier League is the best in the world, it’s football all year round.
Merry Christmas and a joyous 2019 to you. Thanks for being there. Stay BLESSED!!!
PS: You guys should watch GOD Calling, a Nigerian flick. It was really cool.