After a game such as the one we witnessed on Saturday at Stamford Bridge, there’s always a barrage of fans who take to social media to express their post-match views and opinions. When this happens, there’s always the usual, sympathetic mercy-filled statements that always appear in the thousands. There’s one in particular that I detest:
”I think we deserved to win.”
There is not a statement in sport history that is further from the truth. I often get stick whenever I say this, (especially from Arsenal fans, who use this excuse alongside the term ‘improving’ each passing season without a title), but its the cold truth. Let’s not get too caught up with statistics. Even though they are important for analysis and evaluation, the team that deserves to win is the one which the scoreline favors. In short, to win football matches, you have to score more goals than your opponent. Simple and clear. That is the only statistic that matters (even LVG admitted this). This rule, of course exempts the odd situation such as disallowing a legitimate goal, a blatant erroneous decision by the ref or inaccurate offside calls by the assistant referee where there was a clear goal-scoring opportunity. In the case of the Chelsea-United match, we witnessed NONE of that. Absolutely nothing. Here, it was simply a case of which side took their chances when they came along.
I intermittently kept on checking Twitter and Facebook during the match, and this “we deserved more” sentiment was echoed by United fans across the world. Sure, we may try and blame Mou and his tactical set up, but let’s be honest here, who didn’t see it coming? How many times has he done it in the past? I won’t be doing a review of the game because everything I predicted (except the score) in my last post came to pass. In fact, (
as crazy as this may seem), I was thrilled when the team news came out and it was just as I had envisioned. I took what he did positively. Believe me, Mou only sets up that way against teams that he feels pose a genuine threat to his side. And this time round, United did.
Still, there was positives for United to take home. Even though they didn’t dominate the stat that mattered the most, there were sure signs of progression. As Wazza said, there’s really not many teams that go to the Bridge and dominate the ball as much as we did. What also impressed me was the way our new hero, Ander Herrera, held up such a difficult role deep in midfield. Although he wasn’t as composed as he usually in his passing, his recovery was brilliant on many occasions. Same thing with Rooney. We all know he’s most lethal in front of goal, but his passing and positional play in the middle of the park was a delight to see.
As for the Boys in Blue, I must first pay my respects to them. They deserved the victory and with 6 games to go, also rightly deserve the title. I do hope, however, that Mourinho is only parking the bus as a precaution to secure the title as opposed to making it Chelsea’s philosophy. We do want to see entertaining football, especially in the Champions League next season, and if The Blues do what they did in that match, they will suffer against the top sides like Barcelona or PSG. English teams need to up their game and not just play out for draws. We need competitive, exciting matches. Besides, isn’t attack the best form of defence?
Finally, we face a willful Everton on Sunday, but I believe that we can win comfortably if Carrick and Blind return to the squad. Other than that, I feel proud despite the defeat and we seem to be on course for a top four finish as planned. It may be a bit early, but I’m already looking forward to next season, given the exciting prospects we’re being linked to (Depay, Hummels, Pogba).
PS: Special congratulations are in order for The Villains on reaching the FA cup finals! Now defeat the Gooners and take over the world!! ( No seriously, you can’t just beat Liverpool only to lose to Arsenal. Just, no.)
See you on the pitch!