Late drama at its finest

"How fitting it was that Sir Alex's 1000th league game in charge of the Reds produced a dramatic late comeback. Whenever the boss does decide to call it a day, it's the late winners and the back-from-the-dead games that will define his spell in charge. I'm sure he would have preferred a solid, dominant 2-0 drama-free win over the Saints, but that's just not the United way and long may it continue."

- Stewart Gardner, MUTV

03/09/2012 10:13, Report by Stewart Gardner, MUTV
1 of 2 Next 

Blog: Comeback kings

Lessons we learnt from St Mary's yesterday: Robin van Persie's signing was a masterstroke, Paul Scholes is a genius, United never give in under Sir Alex, and me and Paddy Crerand know very little!

That last one really won't come as much of a surprise. What did I blurt out in commentary when Southampton led 2-1 and seemed to be heading for victory with no obvious sign of a United comeback? "I can't see a way back here for United." Will I never learn?

Comebacks and late winners have been Sir Alex's calling cards in his remarkable reign as manager. It happens all the time - quite simply you never write his United off. But my co-commentator managed to trump me in the getting-it-wrong stakes. It's the 92nd minute and the Reds are going for a dramatic winner. We win a corner and Nani gets set to take it. "We never score from corners, do we?" declared Paddy. Over it comes, van Persie heads home and the comeback is complete.

From now on, during our commentaries, I think our new policy should be to say the opposite of what we want to happen. So expect to hear us talking up Liverpool and saying how we never win at Anfield ahead of United's next Barclays Premier League away game!

Van Persie was the obvious player you wanted to interview after the game, but there was no basking in the glory of his hat-trick. His biggest concern was the missed penalty. He was so disappointed with himself and annoyed it might have cost United dearly. That showed what a true professional he is and what exacting standards he expects of himself.

He was also quick to give credit for the victory to Paul Scholes. Yes, it was a relatively short cameo but the old master produced a display that exuded assurance and quality. He settled United down and we immediately looked a more cohesive team with Scholes running the show.

1 of 2 Next