Manchester United's Year In Review: 2010

Manchester United has pulled the curtains down on yet another year, and even though 2010 did not bear the fruits that it normally does, it was still successful.

Although, United is at the top of Barclays Premier League standings at the turn of the year for the first time for seasons, they captured the Carling Cup title, and had a fantastic overall record, the year will be forever-remembered for the Reds losing out on last season’s title by such a slim margin.

Critics always measure United’s success by the amount of trophies they win, which was well below their normal high standard, but the Red Devils did well to win 65% of their matches in all competitions.

In their 54 overall matches, Manchester United scored an impressive 115 goals as a team, and believe it or not, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov finished the year with the same amount goals to lead the Reds.

An amazing statistic is that in 36 Premier League matches, United has only tasted defeat TWICE in 2010, and that is down to the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, who became the longest-ever serving manager in the club’s aristocratic, proud history.

Both center forwards scored 21 goals apiece, which saw Rooney start the year in amazing form scoring 19 of his goals in the first four months, while Berbatov scored 14 in the last four months.

Some might say that the Bulgarian’s five goals against Blackburn padded his statistics, but the same can be said for Rooney’s four goals against Hull City last January as well.

Nani and Ji-Sung Park were the only other United players to finish the year in double figures with them scoring 11 and 10 goals, respectively.

Goal of the Year
When a club scores 107 goals – when you factor out the eight own goals that United forced – in the span of 12 months, it is hard to choose just one goal, but the sheer quality of this goal was hard to beat.

Berbatov’s second goal of his hat-trick against Liverpool in September’s 3-2 win, was only something a striker of his class could pull off, let alone the audacity to even think of doing.

With United leading 1-0, Nani lofted in a cross from the right-hand channel, and with his back to the Liverpool goal, Berbatov received the ball on his thigh and with a fluent motion he hit an acrobatic bicycle kick into the top corner of the net.

Even though, he bagged the first treble of goals against Liverpool in 64 years, it still was not good enough for Berbatov to nick the Player of the Year award.

Player of the Year
A lot of critics will have different players for their Player of Year for 2010, but if one looks at both the second-half of the 2009/10 season, and the first part of the 2010/11 season, then there should be no doubt who will get the honors.

Nani not only resurrected his United career, but he was also the best performer throughout 2010 providing many valuable assists, and contributing with his fair share of goals as well.

The Portuguese speedster has finally shed the shadow of his former countryman, Cristiano Ronaldo, and has gone from second-choice at United to one of the most feared wingers in the Premier League.

Game of the Year
There were a lot of memorable games in 2010, but the impressive 4-0 win over nine-time European Cup winners, AC Milan, was the one that took the cake.

Many will say that the Rossoneri were in a bit of a downward spiral, but the mesmerizing way that United hit them from every angle of the field was something that football purists dream of.

Rooney scored the opening goal in the 13th minute, and with Milan eager to get back into the tie in the second-half, the boy with the midas struck again within a minute of the restart.

Ji-Sung Park added United’s third goal 13 minutes later, and then a late industrious goal by Darren Fletcher put the nail in the proud 17-time Serie A champions’ heart, and the aggregate finished at an unbelievable 7-2 over the two legs.

Moment of the Year
Even though none of the four Manchester derbies were selected as the Game of the Year, the 1-0 win over City in April, which was definitely in contention for that honor, gave United the belief that they were still a very good team, and they really have never looked back since then..

Paul Scholes’ stoppage-time winner sent the visiting section of the City of Manchester Stadium into a complete frenzy, and there is no coincidence that United has not lost a Premier League match in the 22 matches since then.

The way that the team celebrated with each other and then joined in the rapturous celebrations behind the goal with the traveling supporters was a breath of fresh air, because in today’s society the value of their support is sometimes forgotten.

The year would not have been complete without some sort of disruption, which, in October, Rooney’s contract dispute was the drama seized everyone’s attention and was the center of the football world for almost a week.

The out-of-sorts center forward pulled an amazing u-turn after declaring that he wanted to leave United because they lacked ambition, but Rooney was convinced by Ferguson that was anything but the case.

Four days after the Rooney’s shocking revelation, Sir Alex, with the assistance of David Gill, sat down with Rooney and sorted out the details of a new contract in just a couple of hours, so they could not only put the needless saga to bed, but the club could kick on with their season.

Last season, United were in second place – two points behind the eventual champion, Chelsea, at the turn of the year, but the Premier League is much tighter this season.

2009/10 – GP 20 W 14 D 1 L 5 GF 45 GA 18 GD +27 PTS 43
2010/11 – GP 18 W 10 D 8 L 0 GF 39 GA 17 GD +22 PTS 38

United is two games short of the 20 games they played last season, because of the two postponements against Blackpool and Chelsea, which is the reason for the discrepancy in the points that they had.

United has not lost this season compared to losing five times before 2010 started last season – which is just one short of how many losses they had this entire year!

Based on history, Manchester United is a team that normally hits top gear in the second part of the season, which is something that they will need to do this year if they are going to lift the elusive 19th Barclays Premier League title, and do well in both the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League.

2010 Standings
Overall – GP 54 W 35 D 13 L 6 GF 115 GA 48 GD 67
Premier League – GP 36 W 23 D 11 L 2 GF 80 GA 27 GD 53
Champions League – GP 10 W 7 D 2 L 1 GF 18 GA 7 GD 11
League Cup – GP 6 W 4 D 0 L 2 GF 14 GA 12 GD 2
FA Cup – GP 1 W 0 D 0 L 1 GF 0 GA 1 GD -1
FA Community Shield – GP 1 W 1 D 0 L 0 GF 3 GA 1 GD 2

2010 Scorers
D. Berbatov – 21
W. Rooney – 21
Nani – 11
J. S. Park – 10
J. Hernandez – 7
D. Fletcher – 5
R. Giggs – 5
M. Owen – 5
P. Scholes – 5
D. Gibson – 3
N. Vidic – 3
Bébé – 2
M. Carrick – 2
F. Macheda – 2
Anderson – 1
M. B. Diouf – 1
P. Evra – 1
G. Obertan – 1
C. Smalling – 1
A. Valencia – 1
Own Goal – 7

Premier League
D. Berbatov – 20
W. Rooney – 13
Nani – 8
J. S. Park – 7
R. Giggs – 4
J. Hernandez – 4
D. Fletcher – 3
N. Vidic – 3
P. Scholes – 3
F. Macheda – 2
M. Owen – 2
M. Carrick – 1
M. B. Diouf – 1
P. Evra – 1
D. Gibson – 1
Own Goal – 7

Champions League
W. Rooney – 6
Nani – 3
D. Fletcher – 2
Anderson – 1
Bébé – 1
D. Gibson – 1
J. Hernandez – 1
G. Obertan – 1
J. S. Park – 1
P. Scholes – 1

League Cup
M. Owen – 3
W. Rooney – 2
J. S. Park – 2
Bébé – 1
M. Carrick – 1
D. Gibson – 1
R. Giggs – 1
J. Hernandez – 1
P. Scholes – 1
C. Smalling – 1

FA Cup

FA Community Shield
D. Berbatov – 1
J. Hernandez – 1
A. Valencia – 1

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