A week after the first away win of the season Manchester United manage a back to back win with a thumping 3 nil home win over a lacklustre Hull City. It was an unhappy return to Old Trafford for Steve Bruce who took charge of his 700th game as a manager, unfortunately the landmark was overshadowed by defeat.
For United, the success was tarnished by the injury to Di Maria who limped off after only 13 minutes but Smalling gave them a tonic with a goal on 16 minutes. However, the game was not without controversy as Smalling’s goal required the use of the goal line decision system to confirm the goal.
Wayne Rooney put United further ahead after 42 minutes and has now scored seven goals in five matches against the Tigers. In the second half Robin van Persie responded perfectly to the critics, who questioned his poor performance against Arsenal last week, putting the game beyond Hull with a 66th minute goal.
United had more to celebrate as Radamel Falcao came of the bench late in the game, after six weeks out through injury. The win returned United to fourth place in the Premier league table and importantly in a champion’s league berth. The question on all United fans lips will be… can the team sustain this form?
Certainly, Van Gaal and the United players will welcome Van Persies’ return to goal scoring ways, and it is not before time. With the busy Christmas run up fast approaching the manager will be keen to sustain some good form through December.
However, for United old boy Steve Bruce, the Tigers seem to be in free fall and with this defeat they have lost four straight games and are only out of the bottom three on goal difference. For Bruce, the table makes uncomfortable reading especially when there is only a point between Hull and Leicester at the foot of the table.
So, what now for United and Van Gaal? Fourth in the table is certainly better reading for the United board than it was a few months ago and certainly better than this time last season. However, we do need to hold back on the optimism as the opposition was a team struggling at the bottom of the table. Let’s wait and see what happens when we take on a Chelsea, Manchester City and Southampton (stop laughing at the back, they are deservedly in second place).