Sergio Romero: A cup hero at this point
I do not know how he does it, but Romero seems to excel at Cup ties. Many will be thinking what could have been had he been between the sticks against a hungry Chelsea. Could we have gone all the way had he played? Or would we have just been beaten by Chelsea with a more humbling score line. Who knows? All I know is that cup games are his forte.
Still baffles me how Argentina’s former number 1 has been our number 2 for the longest of times. He could easily break it into most teams fighting for the top 6 around Europe. I can’t even say it is the wages considering he earns just as much as Tuanzebe. Regardless he has been a stalwart as the last line of defence.
Coming into this game he had only conceded twice in the last 11 games he played in. Even the goal that whizzed past him was a worldie. Cannot fault him for that at all. Granted that Wiesinger should not have been given as much time as he did, that kind of goal goes in even against the best keepers in the world. Missed clean sheet aside, he looks to be in the running for the rest of the Europa League run and I cannot fault Ole for his decision to do so.
Squad players not up to the task
What can be said? Passes were not hitting their mark. Poor final decision making. Trying too much at times, Not trying enough on the other times. Honestly speaking if there was just a bit more sharpness in the first half, the squad players could have run rings around LASK in this tie. Our fringe players, who many would think would be ravenous to prove a point, did not instill confidence in fans.
Mata does not have the pace to keep up in today’s game, granted he did provide 2 assists today. Mensah might have been solid at the back but going forward he left a lot to be desired. Had a frustrating game before being replaced by Mengi. Brandon Williams may have just signed a new contract, but his passes going forward were at times woeful.
Lingard was one of the brightest sparks during the game. Took his goal well which was slightly deflected by the LASK defender. Was subbed off a bit earlier than expected but still put in a good shift. Also, Ighalo had a quiet game due to poor service up front. There was a moment of brilliance where he turned the defender but was unable to score. James seems to have fallen for off, especially for a plyer who came in blazing with goals in August. All in all, this was a dead rubber game that could have been used by the reserve squad to fight for starting position. Unfortunately, it was not taken
Martial continues with his form
£50 million down the drain but Tony Martial does it again. 23 goals this season. Finally looking like the man to lead the line up front on a permanent basis. He took his goal with finesse and style. Ice cold. Playing quick one touch passes with Mata opened up space for him to slot it past the keeper. Came on in the last 10 minutes of the game and yet still made more impact than the starting players. Will be hoping he can continue his run of form and even possibly finish the Europa League as the top goal scorer.
Definitely not United’s best game. LASK were definitely the better side in the first half and could have sealed the game, but maybe not the tie, had luck been in their favor. They hit the post in the first half and looked the more confident side. But thanks to goals from Lingard and Martial, United managed to pull through with the win. Hopefully, this will be used as an indication that we still need quality players in key positions in order to compete for top honors next season.