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.”