It was only several days ago that Wayne Rooney hit out at his own teammates and claimed that it was vital that the defence stood up strong and helped stop the club from going behind early in games. However, following the terrific 3-0 victory over Newcastle on Sunday there were certainly massive signs of improvement, and Rooney has been quick to lavish praise on the defenders.
It’s been a well-known fact that the main problem United have faced this term has been at the back. With injuries blighting the backline, Sir Alex Ferguson really has had to fit square pegs into round holes with the likes of Antonio Valencia and Michael Carrick both making appearances in the back four over recent months. However, the display at the Sports Direct Arena was much more confident and following goals from Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra and Tom Cleverley, United were able to wrap up a simple win.
After the three points, Rooney was quick to applaud the defenders in the team and paid tribute to the clean sheet the club earned. He told the press, “It’s a great result. Everyone knows this is probably one of the hardest games of the season. We came here, defended brilliantly. We fully deserved the victory. The first six games of the season we haven’t defended well enough – not just the back four, the whole team, and today we were brilliant against a physical team.”
The victory has certainly aided United’s title hopes significantly and while they may still trail leaders Chelsea by four points, they are at least up to 2nd place. Moreover, with the clash against Newcastle described by some quarters as a potential banana skin, the 3-0 score line will have done wonders for confidence ahead of tricky games against Chelsea and Arsenal over the next few weeks.