Club Manchester United visited West Ham United just a day after finding out that Bayern Munich will be their quarterfinal opponent in the UEFA Champions League. They won the match 2-0, but they had to do so without the man who scored a hat-trick against Olympiakos in midweek, Robin van Persie.
The Dutchman is ruled out for the next six weeks due to a knee injury suffered during the UCL victory over the Greek side and this means that he will certainly miss both ties against the German and European champions. Without him in the starting lineup, United were expected to face some trouble on the scoring front, but a man by the name of Wayne Rooney is stepping up when it matters most.
Being United’s highest-paid player, Rooney scored a double today as the pressure was dropped on his shoulders. These two goals should be seen as a message to Bayern that United will be ready for them Old Trafford, which means that they will not be sitting back in front of their home fans. Rooney can lead the attack from the attacking-midfield position and with the help of his hungry teammates, they can probably get a good result.
United’s defense is one of the main areas of struggle this season … especially in the center of the back line. Teams are slicing and dicing passes through them both on the ground and in the air which is why they are allowing goals consistently against the better sides. Bayern is no easy opponent as they can control the tempo and possession of a game for the majority if they please, so the defensive third of United has to stay awake all night long.
Winning the Premier League is pretty much out of the question, but with European glory still there for the taking, we can expect this team to start playing with more force, pressure and passion than they have all season.