Century up but the defence is a joke

Last updated : 24 November 2002 By Martyn Elliott

Al collected a commemorative shirt from Premiership sponsors Barclaycard to mark him becoming the first player to score a century of Premiership goals for two different clubs, but struggled to smile as he understandably let rip at the defence.

"It was nice to get my 100th but I would have preferred to win," he said.

"I can't celebrate it or enjoy it because we've lost - and I like to treasure all my goals.

"It was a shambles. We have seen two very good attacking teams but two very poor defensive sides today.

"It was crazy stuff. You cannot come to Old Trafford, score three goals and not win.

"We went behind, got back into it from a fluke goal but then gave two crazy goals away.

"Manchester United were missing a lot of players and we had to take advantage of that, but we didn't."

Al stopped short of saying it, but if we let Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Diego Forlan rip us to shreds what are Hernan Crespo and Christian Vieri capable off.

Normally it’s the central defenders who are to blame and undoubtedly Nikos Dabizas and Andy O’Brien were poor, but both Aaron Hughes and Andy Griffin were appalling.

It was an out of character display from the full backs, but we must defend as we did against Juventus if we are to have any chance of progressing in the Champions League or qualifying for Europe next season.

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