In answer to all our prayers – in a non-churchy way – Rooney was relieved of penalty duty and a goal was the result. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I don’t subscribe to the notion that players ‘should’ always score from the penalty spot, but Rooney definitely isn’t an artisan in the craft (especially the Rooney we see more of nowadays, who prefers form over function). I expect RVP will take over when on the pitch, but Giggsy certainly knows how to burst the onion bag from 12 yards. If the penalty had been given under different circumstances, there might have been a greater anxiety surrounding it, but it wasn’t; a moot point. Oh, dear! I’m talking myself into cul-de-sacs again…
Fulham didn’t exactly lay down and take it on the chin from there, but they did a good impression of a team who wanted to. Berbatov at least can be happy with some of his straight-to-slow-motion-Youtube-montage-clips touches. As predicted, when the pressure was on for him to perform, it just didn’t happen. I take absolutely no pleasure in saying that. Ruiz was busy, but ran out of steam as our midfield and defence coped with the threat relatively comfortably.
The defence led by Smalling did what was necessary for the most part and the central midfield were rarely asked any truly testing questions. Giggsy’s resurgence is now officially first team form, whereas Nani was putting forward a strong case for us paying someone to take him off our hands. We learned nothing we didn’t already know about Anderson, or Rooney – both still need to do more, more often. Chicha is Chicha, an inherently brilliant thing to be.
Fergie appeared to enjoy satirising himself in talking about winning it for Rio again. If that’s what works for him then I can get behind that.