Moyes finding his feet // Manchester United – October

United headed into the month of October on the back of their worst start to a season in 24 years;  defeats in the league to Liverpool, Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion had meant new boss David Moyes found himself under increasing pressure as he struggled to maintain the standards that fans of this great club so desperately crave.

FC Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Manchester United (Champions League)

Eastern Europe is always a tough place to go and things were looking better than expected at half-time as United went into the break, 1-0 up courtesy of a Danny Welbeck goal. However Shakhtar hit back late on in the second-half through Taison. United managed only one shot on target in the whole game but would have settled for taking a point away from the Ukraine before the game. The match was also notable for Ryan Giggs who came on to make his 145th appearance in the Champions League, surpassing Raul’s record.

Performance Rating: Grade C; A gritty performance in a difficult European tie.

Sunderland 1-2 Manchester United

United went into the game on Wearside looking for their first away win in the league since the opening day win at Swansea City. Things looked bad early on in the first half when Craig Gardner seized on a defensive error to give Sunderland the lead.

Januzaj repaid Moyes faith scoring twice to knock off Sunderland. (Image Courtesy of huffingtonpost.co.uk; no copyright intended

Januzaj repaid Moyes faith scoring twice to knock off Sunderland.
(Image Courtesy of Match Photography; no copyright intended)

Half-time came round and United went in trailing to a side rooted to the bottom of the table with the Red Devils’ looking a bit worse for wear; up stepped 18 year-old Adnan Januzaj to score two goals in the second-half on his first start for the club to win us the game.

Performance Rating: Grade C+; got the result we needed, job done!

Manchester United 1-1 Southampton

Another frustrating game at Old Trafford as Southampton snatched a late equaliser, taking a point back to St. Mary’s with them in the process. Robin Van Persie gave United the lead in the first-half and we had a number of chances to kill the game off but failed to take them. Then a lapse of concentration from a corner allowed Adam Lallana to score.

Performance Rating: Grade D; Another frustrating afternoon as once again we played poorly and failed to finish the game off.

Manchester United 1-0 Real Sociedad (Champions League)

A sold, if unspectacular performance saw the Red Devils’ take the lead after two minutes through an own goal and maintain it for the rest of the game. Both sides had chances in the second-half but failed to convert them.

Performance Rating: Grade B; A good win in Europe and another step closer to qualification for the next round.

Manchester United 3-2 Stoke City

Late second-half goals from Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez won the game for United as they fought back after going down twice to win the game at Old Trafford. Relief was the overriding emotion for all United fans at the final whistle as the team had looked lacklustre for long periods, but it was good to see the sort of fight-back that was trademark under Sir Alex Ferguson, giving the team a badly needed win at home.

Performance Rating: Grade B; Good to get 3 points at home, especially after coming from behind twice.

Manchester United 4-0 Norwich City (Capital One Cup)

A good comfortable win at home in the Capital One Cup, which might provide us a chance of some silverware this season. Two goals from “Chicarito” Hernandez and one each from Phil Jones and Fabio sealed a good solid win.

Performance Rating: Grade B; Good to win by four goals at home and will give the team much needed confidence.

Overall Rating: Grade B-; A solid month for the Red Devils’ after a very poor September. The main positive being staying unbeaten throughout the month, hopefully David Moyes’ team can kick on now and push towards the top of the table. Plenty of positives but still improvements to be made.

Michael Garvey

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