Manchester United went out against Everton on Saturday knowing that only a victory would keep the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal at bay and they proved yet again why they have the drive and resilience required to be Champions this season.
It wasn’t a vintage Manchester United display, nor was it the strongest first XI taking to the pitch in a match that in reality was a must win for a United side sitting atop the Premier League ladder. But a lovely Javier Hernandez header from an acute angle 6 minutes from time showed why The Red Devils deserve to take the Premier League title this season. United still sit 6 points clear at the top of the table after Chelsea recorded a 3-0 victory against West Ham and Arsenal are yet to play as they look to move alongside Chelsea in second place also 6 points behind.
But it was the performance against Everton that showed the quality this side possesses. The quality that separates Manchester United from their two nearest rivals this season, their ravenous desire to win, a winning mentality that was highlighted as Hernandez popped up in the 84th minute to head home a goal when it mattered. I’ve written, ranting and raving about Hernandez all season, but this boy is something. Not only does he score, but he scores goals when it really matters. His movement is sublime and his predatory instinct alongside his movement in front of goal is immaculate. Accompany that with two or three glorious chances he created and a headed goal from an impossible angle and the Little Pea is really staking his claim to be the Premier League’s signing of the season.
With Hernandez’s vital goal and with four games left to play, the title looks destined to go to Old Trafford. Chelsea and Arsenal fans held on to hope that Everton could keep United at bay and take an undeserved point away from the match as they looked to close the gap on the league leaders, although it most definitely would have been a point undeserved given Everton’s almost total lack of attacking ambition. As arrogant as it might seem coming from a United supporter, I believe that had Arsenal or Chelsea been in the same situation United found themselves in, they would not have gone on to find a winning goal, simply because they lack the drive and ambition that is imbedded in this Manchester United side.
Granted, United were slow out of the blocks and never really looked like they would run riot and slot three or four past an excellent Tim Howard, and they never really found their stride, they still completely dominated the game. Again, this is down to that winning mentality. That drive and desire that brings trophies to Old Trafford.
Watching the match last night and watching United launch wave after wave of attack on the Everton goal only to be denied on each occasion, I could not help but think, ‘Can Manchester United score?’ It reminded me of a particular Champions League Final back in 1999, as United forced a corner in stoppage time 1-0 down to Bayern Munich. Commentator Clive Tyldesley asserted:
“Can Manchester United Score? They always score”.
That is the mentality imbedded into this Manchester United side, and that is what brings trophies to Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson now looks destined to “knock Liverpool off their f***ing perch” and bring a record 19th Premier League title to Manchester United.