30-SEC­OND VER­DICT

Wilmslow Express - - SPORTS -

F United’s un­lucky de­feat at Chelsea proved the Reds can be gen­uine ti­tle chal­lengers again next sea­son, it also demon­strated why Louis van Gaal is go­ing to have to to­tally re­vamp his strike­force to en­sure that’s a de­fifi­nite.

Jose Mour­inho has carved out his bid for the crown on the back of Diego Costa’s 19 Pre­mier League goals.

They face limp­ing to the line be­cause the Brazil­ian is out with a ham­string in­jury.

It has left them with a one- time goal pow­er­house Di­dier Drogba shoul­der­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity in the run- in.

Were it not for the back up of 13- goal match- win­ner Eden Haz­ard, they could eas­ily be look­ing at a fa­tal late col­lapse.

Cir­cum­stances have left the Reds dam­ag­ingly short up front this sea­son and they can­not af­ford to launch their ti­tle re­nais­sance in Au­gust with­out bol­ster­ing their attack in the sum­mer trans­fer mar­ket.

The last time United were at Stam­ford Bridge in Jan­uary 2014 David Moyes’ attack in the 3- 1 de­feat was led by Danny Wel­beck. Javier Her­nan­dez came on as a sub to score United’s con­so­la­tion goal. Both were deemed not good enough by Van Gaal.

But when United next go back toWest Lon­don it is un­likely they will have Radamel Fal­cao and Robin van Per­sie on the team coach and they can hardly put all the eggs in the Wayne Rooney bas­ket ei­ther.

Had Fal­cao been a suc­cess like Costa has been for Chelsea, then Van Gaal could be look­ing at an­other de­but sea­son with a league ti­tle to add to his im­pres­sive CV.

But Fal­cao has sadly been a fail­ure loved for a back cat­a­logue rather than present glo­ries.

Back in 2012 the Colom­bian de­stroyed Cham­pi­ons League hold­ers Chelsea in the UEFA Su­per Cup in Monaco when his first half hat- trick for Atletico Madrid won the Spa­niard’s the tro­phy.

It was a re­mark­able feat and one he could have come close to re­peat­ing on Satur­day.

In­stead the 29- yearold was a pow­der- puffffff strike leader. John Terry’s arm in his back may have been a foul at the root of Chelsea’s win­ner but there has been enough ev­i­dence to show Fal­cao is not suited for the phys­i­cal­ity of Eng­land.

Robin van Per­sie is proven in the Pre­mier League. Two Golden Boots are the ev­i­dence and though he might not have been match fi­fit to start at Chelsea why wasn’t he brought on as a late re­place­ment for Fal­cao?

He scored the 93rd- minute in­jury time win­ner against Mour­inho’s side at Old Trafffff­ford in Oc­to­ber.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.