Three and out
Kevin Bond felt confident of taking something from United with the score at 2-1 - hence his major disappointment at conceding a third goal in Saturday's clash at the Lane.
Kevin Bond felt confident of taking something from United with the score at 2-1 - hence his disappointment at conceding a third goal in Saturday's clash at the Lane.
Trailing 2-1 at half-time, we had the chances to draw level with the champions in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Robbie Keane's close-range effort was deflected wide by Nemanja Vidic's fine block before Ben Foster produced the key save of the match to touch wide Jermaine Jenas' curler from 20 yards.
From the corner, Peter Crouch climbed highest only to see his header clip the top of the crossbar.
That came after 55 minutes and Paul Scholes was sent off soon after the but the 10 men responded well and wrapped it up when Wayne Rooney got the better of Alan Hutton and Benoit Assou-Ekotto before firing past Carlo Cudicini.
"They went down to 10 men but that third goal really killed it for us," reflected assistant boss Kevin.
"There was still about 15 minutes to go and we still had the chance to try and wear them down and get something from the game, but that goal was a real sucker punch.
"Once it went to 3-1 it was game over. We desperately didn't want to give that goal away because at 2-1 there was still time for us and I'm sure we'd have got further opportunities to get something out of the game."
Jermain Defoe's overhead kick gave us the perfect start inside the first minute before United hit back through Ryan Giggs and Anderson.
"We couldn't have asked for a better start but on the whole, we didn't play as well as we have in the first few weeks of the season," added Kevin.
"We didn't get our game going, we didn't get our passing going and as a consequence they got back into the game. They are a top, top team and punished us."