Manchester United continued they horrendous relationship with home draws as their dominance in midfield failed to break through a resilient West Ham United. The absence of Michael Carrick and the continued insistence of Rashford on the flanks failed to do United favours of any sort with the horrible finished (barring Ibrahimovic’s goal) becoming a consistent cause for concern now.
Manchester United had to deal with the absence of Carrick who had a slight strain while Mkhitaryan and Rooney didn’t start despite good performances in the previous game.
The likes of Lingard and Rashford on the flanks received mixed reactions but were in unison towards the end of the game. Carrick’s absence meant that Herrera would sit deeper allowing Pogba to have his freedom while Rojo and Jones continued to be the pair at the back. Darmian and Valencia were the fullbacks with the former proving to be a mere liability.
What went wrong?
United can’t call it ‘bad luck’ or whatsoever again, but unlike the previous games (Stoke and Burnley), this game just didn’t provide that cutting edge. While the dominance from midfield was visibly present and acceptable, the dominance in final third, the gritty defenders of West Ham and the horrific finishing by the United players ensured a measly point yet again. United created a plethora of chances again but one mustn’t fail to realise Rashford is being wasted on the flanks. Lingard isn’t particularly great either.
Darmian is a liability at left back
There is a clear difference between the contribution of Valencia and Darmian in both defence and attack. While Valencia charges into the final third and provides a good outlet more often than not, Darmian looks for the easier way with parallel midfield passes. The cross map makes it a bit clearer as to how Darmian is merely effective in that final third while Valencia takes more chances at creating.
Rashford and Lingard were abysmal
United created 14 chances and none of those were from Lingard or Rashford. Even Phil Jones managed to have one despite being a centre back. While playing as a winger one must either pose a shooting threat or create through defence-splitting long/through balls but the pair did neither. It is sad to see Rashford’s potential being nullified on the flanks. Nonetheless, United can do only a certain amount of damage from the wings.
United face West Ham yet again in their EFL fixture and a win is definitely what United will be gunning for. United fans will be hoping for a performance similar to the one against Feyenoord. It is inevitable that a game of such standards will be required in order to progress to the next round. Indeed, it is frustrating but it can change, for better or worse! Will it be too late by then? If United focus on Europa that won’t be a huge problem but should they fail to win, and yet not finish in the top 4, it could spell trouble.
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