After a disappointing 1-1 draw with Newcastle on the opening game of the season, it was important that Manchester United didn’t slip up against Portsmouth on Monday night. Defeat would have left them five points adrift of Chelsea and (for what it’s worth) Liverpool, with the Red Devils not playing a Premier League match next weekend due to their UEFA Super Cup involvement.
As it turns out, it was a relatively comfortable 1-0 win for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men, although the Scot has all of a sudden adopted the parlance commonly associated with managers of struggling teams, claiming that this was a ‘bonus’ victory for his team. The Sun reports that the Scot doesn’t sound like he was automatically expecting the three points.
And Fergie admitted: “It’s a difficult place to come. Last year we drew here, the year before we lost. So it’s a bonus. It was a must-win last season and we lost the year before that. “
While it might be a bonus for Stoke or Hull to pick up three points at Fratton Park this season, surely Manchester United expect to win practically every match that they are involved in. While Fergie was missing several key players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, he still has arguably the best defence in the division, while the likes of Anderson, Fletcher and Tevez all played very well. Does this victory convince you that United are still the team to beat?