I was confident of a win, but I was all too aware of United's form coming into this game, along with the fact that they had managed to hold on to several of their players from last season, and that was always going to give them an edge in tight games this season. That little bit of extra quality that can make a chance or score a goal.
However, as I say I was confident of a win, but I went to the pub with Dave from Drinking During the Game, and suddenly felt the need to declare that I'd probably take a draw. Dave was having none of it, he was looking for a win and wouldn't accept a draw before kick off.
Interestingly I have always tended to settle for a little less. I might be confident of a win but would take a draw when I probably shouldn't, but when we are four points clear, and have just won away to another top five side there is some logic in ensuring that we keep the four point lead with some more winnable games to come.
Anyway, I needn't have worried as we did win, and despite the fact that I was nervous for most of the second half we never, actually, looked like conceding a goal after half time.
Rather like The week before, our defence looked strong and impenetrable. Taylor and Morrison are looking more solid each week, and the full backs also both have a good claim for player of the year. Solly's marking and tackling is amazing and Wiggins has pace to burn and gets up and down the wing all afternoon.
In fact we have built our success this season on both defence and attack. Until his recent barren spell Bradley Wright-Phillips was scoring us the goals to win games. We had a brief spell where we were scoring a lot of goals, but throughout that we have been tight at the back. What that means now is that, in most cases, one goal will mean a win.
Again our only goal came from a Johnnie Jackson free kick, and this week's was even better than the one that beat Wednesday. He really is a great player, and Skipper.
The game was, until the sendings off, a little drab to be honest. We scored the goal we needed and then we defended while looking for a goal on the break - something that I think Wright-Phillips is the perfect player to get.
Bradley has had a barren spel but his confidence doesn't look to have been affected and I think it's only a matter of time before he scores again. I suspect that he is being given more attention, and I think that Paul Hayes is probably going to make more chances for him than Kermorgant, but the latter will, probably, chip in with more goals of his own.
Either way Paul Hayes looks like he has fallen right down the pecking order for the time being. After cameo's in the last two league games for Clarke it was Danny Haynes that came on yesterday. He didn't get long enough for me to say very much, but he looked fast and sharp, and I'm confident that he will make an impact before the season is over.
The only real point of interest in the game, save for the goal, was the incident and the aftermath that reduced both teams to ten men. From the East stand it looked like a firm tackle with studs up, but the replay on the TV shows that it was not, in actual fact, a two footed tackle. Interestingly there has been some debate on the TV recently and it would appear that two footed tackles are not banned. The issue is wreckless and/or dangerous. I am no specialist, but the tackle did look like it could have caused injury, and as the referee had a good view and was so close I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt. We will know what the club's view is when we discover if they will appeal the three match ban.
The video, and still, footage of James Beattie's throat attack on Yann was not in any doubt. Beattie has not been offered a contract with United yet, and this might make a difference. I have never liked ths player from when he first scored against us for Southampton over ten years ago, and his red card for Everton when he head butted William Gallas and proceeded to, literally, run over him when he wouldn't get out of his way shows what sort of man he is.
Lucky for us, probably, as with an extra man, with the pressure that they had been putting on us I think we might have conceded our lead, but it wasn't to be.
I have always said that I would be happy to win a drab game, especially in a big game, so I'm not going to complain. In fact, I couldn't be happier.
Up the Addicks!