Giggs rues sloppy Manchester United
The loss of two valuable points at Fulham yesterday will be felt even more keenly by Manchester United because they had targeted the Premier League 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 Ryan 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."
Latest in Sport
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God