CAPITAL ONE: MANCHESTER UNITED WIN AND HOW LAGOS FANS REACTED
Manchester United Fans in Lagos React:
It was wild jubilation from Manchester United Supporters in most of the major viewing centres and across the streets of Lagos the moment the referee blew the last whistle in the Capital One match involving Manchester United and Liverpool. It was clearly a case of man and his ego.
Manchester United fans have had it rough since the beginning of this season, following some not too convincing performances against their opposition in as many matches as they have played.
Viewing centres in Nigeria have become very popular among football lovers because of the drama, passion and hot exchanges of words in matches involving their darling teams. In some cases the hot exchanges degenerate into a free for all fight.
That possibly explains the outburst of joy and throwing of fits in the air last night when Manchester edged out their arch rivals in the Capital One Cup.Glory, glory Man United filled the air.The win last night is a huge relief from the taunting these fans have endured in the recent past.
David Moyes on the Touchline:
For David Moyes, it was a result to lift some of the foreboding that had begun to descend on his club. He has endured a challenging few days but the mood at Old Trafford should be vastly improved by Javier Hernández's winning goal, and the manager's response after the final whistle told its own story.
Moyes was out on the pitch, shaking every Manchester United player by the hand, then applauding the Stretford end with the kind of vigour that had not previously been seen since he took this job. His predecessor used to milk these moments by taking an impromptu bow. Moyes restricted himself to a triumphant little punch of the air. He looked as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
The important thing was that he got the response he had demanded from his players after their 4-1 pummelling in the Manchester derby on Sunday. The story of this match was not, ultimately, about Luis Suárez's comeback but the way United replaced the vulnerabilities that had shocked and wounded Moyes with the collective determination of a team that seemed grateful to be back out on a football pitch, with the chance to shake their heads clear. Their effort was epitomised by Ryan Giggs, knocking on 40, chasing down the ball in the dying seconds when someone else might have been tempted to take a breather. "The whole club were hurt by the game on Sunday," Moyes said. This was their chance to get it out of their system – or, at least, begin the process.
Hernández struck a minute into the second half and though Suárez gave everything to get Liverpool back into the tie, the visitors did not do enough with the ball to make this a more challenging night for David de Gea in United's goal.
There was one save from Victor Moses's header in the second half and De Gea had to be quick off his line after Suárez had eluded Jonny Evans for the first real chance of the night.
Yet for all of Liverpool's possession in promising areas, the twisting movement of Suárez and Daniel Sturridge, and a first half when the team in that mishmash of away colours had the definite edge, it was a poor return.
Brendan Rodgers was not exaggerating when he complained that their only fault, in an attacking sense, was not finding the killer pass. He was dismayed, justifiably, by the defending for Hernández's goal but that apart, his team matched United in every department and the new-look 3-4-1-2 system functioned coherently.
It is possible to play well and lose, and Liverpool managed both. Suárez, typically, was prominently involved, including one free-kick that struck the crossbar during a frenetic last 20 minutes. The Uruguayan, returning from a 10-match ban, seemed absolutely intent on being on his best behaviour and as Rodgers said, he ran himself into the ground.
Moyes had made eight changes from Sunday but this was not the assembly of reserves and youth-team players that United traditionally put out in this competition. To put it bluntly, he could not afford to take such risks. Nani, despite the occasional frustrations, demonstrated why so many supporters want him back in the team at the expense of Antonio Valencia or, in particular, Ashley Young. Shinji Kagawa also had some nice touches, despite playing out of position on the left, and flicked the crossbar with one 20-yard effort.
Hernández, deputising for the injured Robin van Persie, showed great opportunism for his goal and Wayne Rooney, perhaps the only player who emerged from the City debacle with any distinction, justified his selection as captain. Moyes seems determined to show Rooney he is still cherished at Old Trafford and once again, there was a positive response. Rooney, operating with a licence to roam, was United's most effective player for long spells.
The goal came just as Rodgers had arrived back in his dugout after half-time. Hernández deserves acclaim for his movement and unerring ability to turn these chances into the hard currency of goals but, from a Liverpool perspective, it was a galling one to concede.
José Enrique was the most culpable, losing his man far too easily. Steven Gerrard could not reach Rooney's corner and Lucas Leiva, the other Liverpool player in close proximity, was not marking anybody. Hernández spun away from Enrique, read the trajectory of the ball and turned his shot beyond Simon Mignolet, badly exposed in the opposition goal.
A striker of his ability should never have been allowed so much space inside the penalty area and Liverpool paid a heavy price for their generosity. Moyes's reaction said it all.
Did you watch the game? We will love to hear from you.