Giggs rues sloppy United display

The loss of two valuable points at Craven Cottage will be felt even
more keenly by United because they had targeted the title as their
number one priority this season. Instead of keeping pace with
champions Chelsea, who have made such a flying start by scoring 12
goals in their opening two matches, and conceding none, United are
already two points adrift thanks to Brede Hangeland’s late
leveller. Sir Alex Ferguson described the result as “silly” and
questioned why Nani took the penalty which should have confirmed
victory for his team ahead of Giggs, who scored twice from the spot
against Tottenham last season. Giggs will hope he doesn’t have
cause to regret the failure to assert his authority given the
Welshman’s confirmation of the top flight’s importance. “The
Premier League is probably the most important after losing the
title by a point last season,” he told MUTV. The one consolation
United can take is that at least they did not lose. For, after
getting beaten seven times last season, it is an area Giggs knew
had to improve. “We lost far too many last year,” he said. “They
were games we were capable of winning too. “That was the most
disappointing thing. You know you are going to slip-up during a
season, and every away game is going to be tough, but you have to
limit the mistakes.” It is not the first time in recent seasons
United have stumbled so early. Although they ended up getting
relegated, Burnley’s triumph over the Red Devils thanks to Robbie
Blake’s thunderbolt in the second game of the season last term will
not be forgotten at Turf Moor in a hurry. The previous two seasons
began with home draws against clubs – Newcastle and Reading – who
ended up going down, and formed part of starts that yielded just
five points from the opening four games. With four already in the
bag from two matches and West Ham due at Old Trafford on Saturday
having suffered successive defeats under Avram Grant, Sir Alex
Ferguson’s men should at least better that total. However, as
stand-in skipper Nemanja Vidic confirmed, the feeling of having
missed an opportunity was hard to escape. “It’s a bad result,
especially when we were in such a good position going into the last
minutes of the game,” said the Serbian. “A draw is difficult to
take and we feel real disappointment about what happened in the
end.” As he occupies such a pivotal position on the field, losing
such a straightforward goal at a set piece hurt Vidic particularly
keenly. He was the man who lost Hangeland as the Norwegian made his
way through a crowd of bodies to power home Damien Duff’s corner.
“We need to improve at set pieces,” he admitted. “We shouldn’t be
allowing them to score again two minutes from the end.” United
should be bolstered by the return of Wayne Rooney from a stomach
bug on Saturday, although, recalling those previous early season
slips, Vidic does not see any reason for panic. “We have had some
bad results at the beginning of seasons, so we don’t want to get
down after this one result,” he said. “There are some points we
need to look at with the goal we lost and we must make sure it
doesn’t happen again. “But hopefully we will be stronger by the
time we play the next game.”