I don't know how I should begin this post. It was a great match that we were ultimately unlucky not to win and while it would be too easy to look for blame, I'm going to, because I think ultimately somebody has to take responsibility.
First things first though, I think we played the better football today and like I've said above, we were desperately unlucky, but we changed things around after going 2-1 up, which for me, is where it all started to go wrong.
At half time, I wrote my first half analysis and rather than write it all again, I'm just going to tidy it up and copy it in, I think it sums up most of the match; basically, United haven´t shown us the respect we deserved and have in essence played three up front.
The goal we gave them was a sucker punch but our goal was deserved, if only for the attitude we've shown and the number of chances we've created. If United come out like this in the second half, we could steal all three points. Overall, we've wanted it more and as marmite61 says, playing players in their preferred positions has helped.
That was my first half analysis. The second half was much the same. United didn't show us any respect and came out playing three up front - in essence giving us the midfield, because we were playing with four and we were on top for most of it, or until we scored our second.
What happened after that doesn't actually surprise me, but it's what happened. We basically started to sit back and invite pressure, instead of playing how we had played for most of the game. It resulted in Ronaldo getting the equaliser out of nothing and then for some reason five minutes of injury time, for what I don't know, and United get another, because well, they can smell it and it's Old Trafford.
Now, I am actually quite annoyed at how we did sit back after going 2-1 up, but there are also some positives. Nick Shorey played an excellent game at left back and playing all our players in their preferred positions clearly helped us. Gareth Barry had a very good game, as did Carew and Petrov.
But, I'm not going into too much detail, because I am bringing back a sort of PMP tomorrow, where we'll look at some of the papers, get some player ratings and a general overview of the game.
So, please rate the players for me below and any links you find to anything interesting, please also post below. For now, I'm going to go try find something better to do than try and figure out why O'Neill told his players to sit back and try and deal with the onslaught that was sure to come.
I will say this in closing; we were better today and we looked like we wanted it. We were quite fortunate in how Manchester United set themselves up, but we should be able to take some confidence from that game and if nothing else, it shows how much better we are with an extra man in the middle.
All we need now is the manager to finally see it and think about it for Everton.