Manchester United’s one goal for the 2012/13 Premier League season is to reclaim the title. No other finish is acceptable for Sir Alex Ferguson’s loaded squad. But the Red Devils limped out of the gate with their 1-0 loss to Everton at Goodison Park on Monday evening and one wonders if this is a bad sign for the coming campaign?
Manchester United’s run for an unprecedented 20th title last season came to a screeching halt when Everton came to Old Trafford on April 22. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side had finally overtaken cross-town rivals Manchester City on the table and everyone from City’s manager Roberto Mancini to the pundits had given the title to United.
Everton did not get the memo, however, and despite facing two goal deficits on 2 occasions fought back to earn a historic 4-4 draw. The lost two points came back to cost Manchester United the title and was the game that Fergie pointed to when shaking his head about when it all went wrong on the way to a second place finish.
The start of the 2012/13 EPL campaign was suppose to be the first step in erasing the memories of last season for Manchester United. The Red Devils strengthened the roster with the addition of Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund and Robin Van Persie from Arsenal and what better way to get started than to defeat the team that caused you to stumble the previous season.
But it all went wrong all thanks to Everton.
The Toffees saw their chance with a disjointed defense sent out by Ferguson. Midfielder Michael Carrick was called to play in central defense with Nemanja Vidic and the pair were never up to the task.
Marouane Fellaini was the key for Everton. The Belgian international quickly exposed Carrick in the opening 15 minutes and United were only saved from an early deficit by the post. David Moyes side continued to press and must have been surprised at how easy it was against United. Fellaini scored the game winner in the second half when he out-muscled Carrick to put his header in the back of the net.
The loss left United players making excuses that don’t sound like one from a confident side.
"When you come to places like Everton who will play long balls into the box you need big, strong defenders, but we won't use injuries as an excuse," Vidic told MUTV. "I thought the players who came in gave their best and hopefully we'll have a couple of defenders ready for the next game.”
But more worrisome for Fergie is what did not happen most notably his high powered attack did not score. The best chance came in the second half when Everton’s Phil Jagielka was called on to clear a goal-bound ball of the line.
And equally frustrating must be when Danny Welbeck went down in the box in the first half. United are accustomed to borderline calls going their way but no such respect was afforded to start of the season.
"It wasn't a great game but we're already looking forward to the next one,” the 30-year old defender went on to say. “We've lost our first match in the past and finished well so hopefully we can win our next game and go on a long run."
History does not favor United, however. The last time Manchester United lost their opener was 2004, two years before Vidic joined the side, and they went on to finish a distant third in the EPL behind Arsenal and Chelsea. Could the Everton result send Manchester United in a free fall they can not recover from just like last season? Only time and the final points will tell.
HAVE YOUR SAY…
Will Manchester United recover from this first loss or are the Red Devils in for a long and inconsistent campaign? Have your say on the Soccer365 Facebook comments below.
Bayern Munich are kings of Germany and hope to be crowned kings of Europe at Wembley later this month!
The Juventus jersey for the 2013/14 was released earlier this week. Be the first to wear the colors of the Old Lady.
Chelsea won the Europa League on Wednesday. The Blues defeated Benfica 2-1 on injury time goal from Ivanovic.
Borussia Dortmund hears Wembley Calling and are headed to London for the Champions League final.
The adidas Nitrocharge is the most talked about new cleat in years. It was released on May 15 and will take your pitch by storm.
Ajax has released their away soccer jersey for the 2013/14 season. Get in the Gear.
One of the top soccer cleats for control the Nike CTR360 will not let you down on the field in tight spaces.
The push for more color on their cleats, adidas has added the infrared colorway to the adiZero f50 Line.
adidas has added some color to the Predator line with this new colorway. Released on May 17. Be the first to own a pair.
The new PUMA evoSPEED 1.2 FG. A great new soccer cleat with classic look and first time for PUMA to be on the cleat.