Manchester United sauntered to an impressive 3-0 victory over a woeful Hull City, but their performance was marred by a worrying injury to their star player, Angel Di Maria.
Di Maria, who Manchester United purchased from Real Madrid in the summer for $100 million, limped off after just 13 minutes of the encounter. It looked as though he had been blighted by a hamstring injury that left the Argentinian hobbling around the field.
Manchester United’s fans worryingly looked on as Angel Di Maria left the field, but their sorrow turned to joy soon when Chris Smalling scrambled home following a frenetic corner. After the ball bounced around the area it fell invitingly at the feet of the centre-back, and even though he scuffed his shot, it still managed to evade Alan McGregor in Hull’s goal.
McGregor clawed the ball out of the net just after it had crossed the line, but the referee was informed just seconds later by video technology that it had indeed gone in and correctly gave the goal.
Manchester United never really put Hull under a substantial amount of pressure in the following minutes, but they continued to dictate the rhythm of the game with their quick passing. Despite all this pressure they didn’t create any more clear cut chances until Wayne Rooney doubled their advantage with a smartly taken strike that fooled the Hull defence and McGregor just before half-time.
After the ball landed at Robin Van Persie’s feet he delightfully teed up the Manchester United captain, who looked as if he was going to curl the ball to his right but instead then dragged his shot to the left and it nestled into the bottom corner.
By this point, it had become obvious that Manchester United were on their way to a comfortable three points. And as the second-half started there was a feeling amongst the Old Trafford crowd that they expected even more goals to come.
Instead all they got was Robin Van Persie’s powerful strike. However this was still important for a number of reasons. Firstly it showed that Robin Van Persie still has the ability to bamboozle even the most stubborn of defences, plus it brought an end to his barren spell in front of goal that had previously seen Louis Van Gaal describe his last performance as awful.
Manchester United consolidated their position in fourth thanks to this result, but now all their attention will turn to Angel Di Maria ahead of their game with Stoke City on Tuesday.
[Image via EJU]