We played at a high tempo with quick one touch passing especially in the second half and the Turkish champions couldn’t live with us. Scholes was instrumental in the centre of the park and was involved in almost everything positive. I worry however that if Scholes doesn’t perform, United don’t. It will be a tough yet vital task in replacing him. I thought Michael Carrick was also impressive and I’ve not said that for a very long time. He sat and protected the back line covering and breaking up the play well. He made one last ditch tackle covering for the attack minded Evra which was particularly notable. We had Fletcher pushing forward to support Berbatov and he managed to get himself on the score sheet in the process. Fletcher has all the attributes to be a box to box player. He has the energy, ability to tackle, can pass a ball and as shown tonight he can finish. Maybe we should see the Scotsman pushing forward more. Park was also back to his energetic self and contributed ably.
In my opinion Rafael looked the player we know he can be. He seems to be getting better and better with every game. The fact he nullified Garath Bale on Saturday is a feat on it’s own especially after Bale’s performance against Inter. Chris Smalling had another notable solid game looking like he’s been at the heart of the United defence for years.
We got another glimpse of Gabriel Obertan and he produced. His goal was spectacular, showing glimpses of what he does in the reserves in the first team. We then got another treat as Bebe came on and once again got himself a goal, latching onto Scholes disguised pass. As he showed against Wolves his pace was electric. There was one moment where he hit the ball 20 yards ahead himself into the space behind the full back. He gave the defender a 5 yard head start and still beat him to the ball. He then put a delightful early ball in for Berbatov who in truth along with Nani limping off early doors was the only disappointments of the night.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though; the Turkish champions aren’t exactly the best team in the world but by and large everything looked good. It all seems to be coming together nicely and we still have to fit Rooney, Hernandez and Valencia back into the starting 11! Our youngsters look bright for the future and the 3 – 0 win puts us in poll position to qualify for the knock out stages of the Champions League.