The Old Trafford faithful were certainly shaken and not stirred Tuesday night after Real Madrid pulled out an unconvincing and controversial win against the Red Devils. The contentious decision to dismiss Nani in the second half undoubtedly tipped the momentum in Madrid’s favour, so much so that goals from Modric and Ronaldo shortly followed.
Whilst this defeat signals the end of any chance of United pulling off the Treble, the loss may also act as a turning point for the rest of their season. Questions will be asked about how Ferguson’s men will be able to react to such a disappointing outcome; will they bounce back stronger than ever, or will the punch drunk atmosphere linger for longer than expected?
…barring some uncharacteristically colossal melt-down…
Although I am no psychic, it is quite safe for me to say that the Premiership is in the bag for United (barring some uncharacteristically colossal melt-down). So thoughts now concern whether or not the team rejuvenate itself in time to progress beyond the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and pull off the Double.
The only problem with this is that the quarter-final happens to be the first game United play after losing to Madrid. There will be no match in-between dates to recover from any dizzy heads and groggy minds; it is very much a case of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.
…the odds are stacked too heavily against them…
What makes this situation even more daunting is that this match is against none other than Chelsea, the current holders of the FA Cup. However, it gets worse. If United do prevail here it is likely that they will at some point face bitter rivals Manchester City. Because of this, I believe the odds are stacked too heavily against them in achieving the Double, a very sobering thought for fans indeed.