Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back to the drawing board...

Charlton Athletic 0
Manchester United 3

It was not the sort of birthday night I'd hoped for - soaked by the downpour when walking to the ground from the station, I sat soggy all night, before getting another drenching on the way home via the bus stop.

It finished three-nil, but it could have been six; Charlton's first home game of the season ended in abject defeat, with United proving easy winners. The goals, all in the second half, came from Fletcher (after an awful fluffed clearance by El Karkouri), Saha, and Solskjaer, with Giggs, Ronaldo, and Park all hitting the woodwork.

Head Coach Iain Dowie certainly seems to be racking up the problems at present - new injuries to Sorondo and Reid did not help team preparations. On the pitch, his side all played as best they could, but teamwork was at a premium and sadly lacking. The wet night didn't help, but controlling and passing the ball seemed beyond most of the Charlton team that did play...

The defence seemed isolated from the midfield, especially in the second half when it dropped too deep (a common failing last season...) and left Amady Faye too far upfield to help out, and the forwards ploughed a lonely furrough all night with very little support until Rommedahl came on for the last ten minutes (when the game was already lost).

The only chances fell when Hasselbaink shot first time from an Ambrose chest down in the first half, which went wide, as did an embarassing long range Borat, sorry, Talal El Karkouri free kick. Ambrose had the only other worthwhile shot, which looped high before nearly causing van der Sar to blush as it dropped near the top corner.

I'm struggling to think of any other good things that came out of the game; Dowie really does need to get realistic about our chances this year.

At least the bloke behind me didn't turn up...

Man of the match - tough one this...Young tried to contain Ronaldo, and did OK; Fortune looked comfortable most evening; Holland ran around a lot, but the "award" goes to Darren Bent who won nearly every header he contested, and really did look like a very good player in a pretty average team.

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