Rooney, Resigned to Being a Red, Rose to the Occasion
Now that the Premiership is well under way, let's take a look back at how the campaign started for the two favorites to win it all.
It was a long-awaited match between Manchester United and Chelsea that ultimately ended up in a scoreless draw. With so many off-the-pitch battles raging, the match itself didn't live up to its billing.
All the tactical battles between Manchester United manager David Moyes and Chelsea manager José Mourinho, the comparision of both teams in the transfer market, and the pre-season performance of both the teams appeared ot indicate a Chelsea win. But, such was not the case. The Red Devils, with their home support and David Moyes' first home game of his era, the crowd was fantastic. Manchester United dominated the game at all times, with Chelsea forced to react on simple counter-attacks.
Even though the game was a below the par draw, there was a player who stood tall in front of all the others.
Wayne Rooney outshined every single player in the pitch. He was the key in most of the build ups for Manchester United and was looking most lively of them all. He had that urge to have his moment, and it could be seen by his effort in the pitch. At once, he was a defender, and then, he could be seen making clever runs in the counter. Manchester United supporters showed their love to their mercurial hero with continous chanting of his name.
Chelsea never stood a chance in the match and were only given rare glimpses at the goal from outside of the box.
It seemed as if The Special One -- the self-anointed Mourinho -- was satisfied with a point, after his side had played so poorly. Mourinho's tactics were defensive from the start, with no strikers included in the first XI, whereas the intent of The Chosen One, David Moyes, was clear to all.
He was offensive in his tactics the entire time while not allowing slip-ups at the back.
The overall game was quite disappointing, with neither of the two teams seemingly giving their best. There were only a few good chances sprinked amidst a ton of possesion play. Even substitutes from both the teams were unable to create any impact. The only memory imparted was the "Rooney performance" and the magnificant atmosphere.
Now, in retrospect, perhaps the Devils put too much stock in the match. By their standards, they've sputtered since then, with their nadir coming at the hands of City in the local derby. The Blues, on the other hand, have held serve with the exception of a stumble at Everton.
The return match is Saturday 18 January at Stamford Bridge. By then, Rooney will surely have accepted he'll still be a Devil, and the hype machine will surely begin to roll again.