Friday, September 29, 2023

Match Review: Sluggish Man United Punished By Borussia Dortmund

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

Manchester United started their pre-season campaign under new manager Jose Mourinho in horrible fashion after crushing to defeat 4:1 by a strong Borussia Dortmund side. Former BVB player Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s goal wasn’t enough to put the Red Devils on top against the mighty German side.

Borussia Dortmund were the clear victors as Gonzalo Castro’s brace coupled with Aubameyang’s penalty and a sizzling goal from ‘wunderkind’ Ousmane Dembele, helped the Black and Yellows to rage past an uninspired, anonymous and lackluster Manchester United team.

Prior to the game, the expectations were pretty high from both the sides, moreover, from the game itself as the fans had hoped for a tight and evenly contested matchup between two of the giants in their own respective leagues. However, the pitch didn’t help the cause (not sure if it was really ‘made in China’ stuff or Darmstadt just loaned their pitch to them for a few days), the ball was clinging onto the surface and it didn’t look all too comfortable to play at, which kind of affected the flow of the game.

Borussia Dortmund were the better side in the first stages of game. Lot more calm and composed on the ball, Dortmund tried to build up from the back with short passes but failed to navigate through the middle due to the compactness, that would you expect from any Jose Mourinho side. However, Man United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone failed to get hold of an Aubamyang free kick and the ball was somehow scrambled in by Gonzalo Castro.

The heat was taking its shape and, soon after a drinks break, United fell further behind in the 35th minute as Antonio Valencia gave away a penalty for handball from an effort by Aubameyang, who then scored from the spot by striking the ball down the middle.

It got from bad to worse for Manchester United, as Ousmane Dembele added the third goal for Borussia Dortmund in the 57th minute, The French youngster dribbled past the midfield including a sweet feint which completely bamboozled Marcos Rojo in defense before putting out extraordinary finish to put the ball in the back of the net with Sergio Romero having no chance.

Mkhitaryan’s goal right after the Dembele’s solo effort was nothing more than a consolation goal for Man United and late on as Gonzalo Castro added the fourth with a sweet drive from outside the box.

It was a disappointing night for Memphis Depay once again, who was completely anonymous as the lone striker upfront. Juan Mata looked committed but he too was somewhat dismissed due to the complete midfield dominance by Sebastian Rode and Gonzalo Castro. New signing Mkhitaryan was anonymous as well. Apart from the goal, the 27-year old Armenian was hardly seen plowing his magic on the ball.

As for Dortmund, there are a lot positives to take out from the game. Sebastian Rode’s performance was probably the biggest of them all. The new signing from Bayern, single handedly dominated the midfield and was full of running. Castro’s goal scoring abilities prevailed and he looks to be one of the players, replacing the departed Ilkay Gundogan. Ousmane Dembele also looks very promising and seems all set to take the Bundesliga by storm. Turkish talent Emre Mor’s dribbling abilities was duly noted as he swarmed all over the Man United defense.

However, Jose has already clarified that the result was not important but the margin of the defeat will certainly be a worry for the former Chelsea boss and he will have a lot to address before the season starts.

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