After a very disappointing display at Old Trafford on Saturday evening, United headed into Tuesday with mixed reactions. Some still had hope and were looking forward to the next game in a hope for something positive. Others were so sick and tired of our lackluster displays and had vowed not to watch the game. Whatever the mood, it’s completely understandable given our recent performances.
Well we headed into the game with a lot of possible out comes on out plate. Either we would lose and risk playing Thursday night football or get a result and progress to the next stage in the Champions League.
Well, as it stands, Fellaini’s 91st winner has guaranteed us at least 3 more games in the Champions League. Was this an ideal Manchester United game? The answer is a big no!
Let’s look at how the action happened.
First of all, contrary to popular belief, the midfield trio of Matic, Fellaini and Fred and the defensive partnership of Jones and Smalling looked perfect.
Fred as a player adds a lot to our midfield. Fred was by far our best player in that first half. Every opportunity he got he played the ball forwards and was always looking to create chances. It’s unfortunate he got sacrificed in the second half again. This was a decision I haven’t understood yet.
Lingard, Martial and Rashford were a bit offline during the first half. We should have scored about 2 goals in the first half alone.
Rashford missed several one-on-one chances and is becoming a concern, given he isn’t taking advantage of Lukaku’s absence. He makes good runs at the defence, his finishing should just improve.
Martial kept losing possession a little too much for my liking, although he went on to become the most creative player on the pitch in that game.
Second half was far from impressive, the pressure on us increased and this wasn’t good for the game. Fred, who was up to then our best player on the pitch made way for Pogba. Honestly I thought either Rashford or Matic was going to make way instead given their displays.
Fred’s removal exposed our midfield and this says a lot about how Fred has held our midfield.
David De Gea was at it again with a goal-line save. God bless this man for us!
Until the 91st minutes, Fellaini looked average and was lucky to still be on the pitch, he could easily have been substituted. He came up with the goods and scored. I loved his finish, it was simple and precise. I hope our forwards take some notes.
For our striking line, I would prefer Mata and Sanchez back into the game at the expense of Lingard and Rashford. They need to develop some consistency to be guaranteed game time. Today showed that they lack the decision-making which is needed to be a starter.
I hope that Jose at one point rests Matic so that we can constantly exploit the prowess of Fred who had a very decent first half.
Jose has passion. He might be making mistakes in tactics, team selection and substitute decisions but from his touchline energy, he has passion. This tells you everything about how much everyone at United needs to succeed.
There is just need for extra work from each and everyone involved. The fighting mentality must come back ASAP. We are playing very lackluster football and we really need to change our mentality in order to get anything out of this season.