Wayne Rooney once again enjoyed a match against the city he grew up in.The striker performed admirably in his midfield role and got Manchester United on their way to a 3-0 win with the opening goal.
The England international cooly slotted home from the edge of the box after good work from Antonio Valencia had seen him beat Joe Allen all ends up.
Juan Mata added United’s second from close range shortly before half-time although appeared to be offside after van Persie flicked on Ashley Young‘s cross. Mata was involved once again for the third as he found van Persie in the box who slid home the third.
David De Gea was also largely to thank once again after he produced three or four great saves to make sure United extended their winning streak to six games.
United still scraping by without playing well. Sound familiar? It was a trait that became familiar with United in the later years under Sir Alex Ferguson’s guidance.
United didn’t have the strongest team on paper but regularly made a habit of winning both games and trophies in Ferguson’s last few years in charge and that quality has certainly returned in recent weeks.
The team have won three big games against Arsenal, Southampton and Liverpool without playing brilliantly in any of them but it is now six wins in a row which hasn’t been done since Ferguson left the club.
Is 3-5-2 here to stay? Despite the unpopular system being preferred by Louis van Gaal in big away games of late, United once again lined up with three centre-backs and two wing-backs and again looked thoroughly unconvincing.
Another win will again overshadow how uncertain the players look, especially in the passing department whilst the defenders don’t seem to know quite what they’re doing or who should be where.
Supporters will hope the formation is only being used due to injuries given a 4-2-3-1 or a diamond has been preferred when the majority of United’s attacking players have been fit.
Wilson has a long way to go The young striker gave his all but was on the periphery of the match throughout.
The 19-year-old has shown glimpses of his talent this season and will continue to do so but today was a tough lesson for Wilson.
His pace did indeed cause the issues van Gaal intended in an otherwise static attacking display again but his team mates once again the efficiency that meant they walked away with a win.
Couldn’t have said it better myself…
Give De Gea Rooney's, Van Persie's, Falcao's, Mata's, Di Maria's and Van Gaal's wages
— Jonny Escott (@jonnyescott) December 14, 2014
Six wins in a row means United go into next week’s match against Aston Villa as high on confidence as they have been in several years.
After last season’s humiliation at home to their rivals van Gaal’s men fully avenged that defeat today and consolidate their third place position in the Premier League.
With several more winnable games on the horizon, United’s form could continue for a while yet and they aren’t even playing at their best!