United defended like clowns

ENGLAND - I couldn't believe what I was watching when Manchester United beat Reading 4-3 early Sunday morning (Singapore time).

You know the theme that plays whenever the circus is in town? I was imagining that tune playing in the background whenever United conceded a goal.

The Red Devils' defended like clowns and it was really that funny to watch.

And I am not alone. Sir Alex Ferguson called it the worst defending this season and Wayne Rooney said it was crazy.

Fortunately for Sir Alex, the forwards at his disposal saved the day yet again in a match that could have seen a record number of goals scored in the first half if Robin van Persie's shot that crossed the line had counted.

While they might get away with this sort of defending in the Premier League and possibly still even win the competition, United will get found out in the Champions League, which is the prize I'm sure Ferguson wants more than anything.

On the continent, defences are tighter, players are a little bit better and it's a lot tougher.

While they can outscore anyone in the EPL with the amount of firepower that they have, Europe's top clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will surely hammer United without giving away the chances like Reading did at the Madejski Stadium.

Sir Alex knows he will need to tighten things up at the back quickly.

Rafael had to be substituted to avoid being sent off and Patrice Evra is a pale shadow of the player that he once was.

Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand, the most experienced defender at United, was nowhere to be found when the goals were scored.

Although Jonny Evans gave away the first goal with his poor header, Ferdinand was never in the picture when Adam le Fondre had a free header from six yards out to score.

United really miss Nemanja Vidic as they tend to give more chances to opponents when their skipper isn't in the side.

With Rio sweeping up after him, the pair make a good partnership because the former West Ham man needs someone dominant alongside him.

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