Writer: Mikey Delap
Date:Monday February 23 2009
Well, it may not have been the moment of glory we all hoped for more than expected but we didn't let anyone down on Saturday as we matched the Champions of England and the 'World'.
We came away with no points but we took it to them and came out with the plaudits if not the result.
Fulham came and rolled over four days before we did so for us to not lie down like many before us had was a testament to the team spirit Sam has put back into Rovers - spirit we are going to need when we play teams a lot worse than Manchester United.
Yet, there has been some negativity surrounding the game with some sections of Rovers fans suggesting that Big Sam bought on his subs too late and Paul Robinson/Keith Andrews didn't play well.
I respond to this by saying that Saturday was about a team performance, that's what Sam sent everyone out with in mind. Nothing of any individual brilliance but of team efficiency - we had that in spades. We stopped the best team in the land from playing their natural game and showed swift counter attacking. It is very rare the away team finishes the game with the same amount of shots on target as the home side at Old Trafford.
There are also some sections of the media that believe we were worth a point and looking at the evidence it is hard not to agree.
Ronaldo should of been off the pitch by the time he scored. His kick on David Dunn was disgusting and another show of ego from a ignorant, self absorbed human being. Not to mention that pathetic attempt at a dive.
If the Morten penalty/dive had been down the other end of the pitch with Berbatov in Morten's place the penalty would of been given. On top of this, there were also so many positives to take from the game.
El Hadji Diouf and Gael Givet look like inspired signings, Givet in partciular looked like he had been with Rovers all his life - you would of never guessed he was making his league debut.
Roque Santa Cruz showed his true colours, he grafted, won his aerial battle with Rio Ferdinand and scored a well taken goal. Andre Ooijer, who has attracted criticism from yours truly for his lack of composure at right back, had a good, solid game.
We may be no points better off on the whole but I think we will all be looking at Saturday as a turning point.
When Man United came to Ewood earlier in the season they ran rings round us as we looked shot of confidence. Fast forward a few months and Sam had us drilled and sweating blood and United knew at the end they were extremely fortunate.
The contrast between the game at Ewood and Old Trafford was startling but it gave us a glimpse of what will ultimately keep us up at the end of the season.
Date:Monday February 23 2009
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