Remember this? How many cock-ups make a conspiracy?
First to the interesting part; the second goal, which in truth had no impact on the result but which raises several points and allows us to ignore our appalling and shameful record against the old Top Four sides away from home for a few more hours.
You've all seen it so let me get to some of the issues that it raises.
Firstly; how is it that the referee and the linesman failed to respond to Nani's handball? If it wasn't a penalty it was simulation. But for the deliberate hand-ball it would have rolled out of play, which adds insult to injury.
Why did the linesman raise his flag several seconds after the goal?
Why was Modric booked for politely, as captain, continuing the discussion with the official?
Why was Ferdinand who was not the Man.Utd. captain allowed to harangue the two officials throughout their consultation when every other player had been sent away? He continued to berate the linesman even after the goal had been given. What did he want; two goals? He should have been booked.
Clattenburg clearly says 'I saw it' but if he gave advantage why did he not blow his whistle when no advantage materialised, as refs often do? It's a strange advantage that leads to the advantaged team conceding a goal,
How can an experienced International keeper get it so wrong? Play to the whistle Heuralho whatever that is in Portuguese. He had plenty of time to take the kick or roll it to Ekotto. Nani was still on the ground when he was placing the ball. Why did he seek Clattenburg's permission to continue?
The Old Trafford file of bizarre decisions is pretty close to bursting . How much longer can it continue before I change from a cock-up to a conspiracy theorist? How many cock-ups in fact make a conspiracy?
It was interesting to see Ekotto ushering everyone except captain Modric away as the linesman clearly tells him that he has seen the handball. Benny the Peacemaker! Coming soon to a Stadium near you.
So yesterday's game raises many questions some of which Harry and Mr. Winter might answer in due course, although I doubt if any of the officials will fail to support Clattenberg. The referee, the linesman and Gomes are all culpable here but I agree with Harry that it probably didn't make any difference to the result, though you never know what might have happened in the last five minutes and extra time ( If there was any allowed as they were leading.)
Modric was my Man of the Match, I have suggested to Mrs JimmyG2 that we adopt him but she doesn't think the spare room is big enough. I'm measuring up the garage tomorrow. Harry's selection of Keane raised some eyebrows in view of his poor form but in the spirit of 'In Harry we trust' I tried to think of some positives: we would have to keep the ball on the ground: it would prevent Crouch being chopped up into small pieces by Vidic and delivered back to Abbey, or his Mum in a body bag; it might be the start of a new dynamic relationship up front; it might make Pavlyuchenko so angry that he would come on as he has done in the past and score a couple of goals.
None of these things happened except that Crouch was unharmed. I was surprised that Sandro and Kranjcar remained on the bench even when we were chasing the game but Palacios came on to replace Jenas and not only didn't get a yellow card but played quite well.
It was a very good game with plenty of skill and effort by both sides. We played without fear or signs of inferiority and certainly gave as good as we got. We fell behind to a set piece through poor marking by Kaboul and Ekotto allowing Vidic to get across the front of him.
Modric and Van der Vaart are beginning to link up more and this bodes well for the future. Lennon played well in the first half, several 'give and goes' which he hasn't had the confidence to do lately. Bale looked as if he was saving himself for Tuesday except for a late run that almost produced a fine solo goal.. We did OK in defence especially as both centre backs wereboth on early yellows. Gallas had a better game and Jenas worked hard to protect the back four but looked slow on the ball and will be remembered for some poor passing.
All the old Top Four scored goals in the last ten minutes of their games this weekend, and we didn't. After ten games we are ten points off the top and five off the relegation zone. I'm just saying. We need to start winning in the league as we have not made enough of our 'easy' start. The only bright spot yesterday was that Man.City who might be our main rivals for fourth lost to Wolves and started arguing amongst themselves. Everton and Liverpool are starting to make steady progress and it's all rather too tight for comfort. We could slip to 6th if W.Brom get a draw tonight.
On Tuesday we welcome Inter Milan to the Lane without Defoe, Dawson,Van de Vaart probably King and Gomes. I hope that we are not too welcoming. A draw would be a good result for us but without key players it's a hard ask. It would be just like Spurs to win it but I am not putting a lot of my pension on it. I hope that we adopt an attacking attitude. As usual with Spurs anything could happen but it would be nice to score the first goal just for a change.