Manchester United’s match against Aston Villa was nothing less than a roller coaster ride. A lot of attacking intent but a very less quality outcome was the story of the day.
As mentioned by Solkjsaer that 20 out of the 30 attacking moves by blocked, which shows that the Aston Villa defenders had a solid plan in their mind. They were great in pressing and much better in defending deep in their half.
Meanwhile, United did had some very good moments but in the end, made a mockery of the opportunities that had come at their feet. Fernandes missed a crucial penalty that could have given us a point.
It was pretty hard to pinpoint each and every moment but we observed these three things that sum up the entire match:
1. Solksjaer under pressure ?
Manchester United was eliminated from the EFL Cup by West Ham United and they had also lost to BSC Young Boys in the Champions League group stage match. Both the losses were just so difficult to swallow as a Manchester United fan.
Everyone seemed confident that United will bounce back and perform better against Aston Villa but it was far away from what we dreamed away. Another horrific performance and far below United’s standards, this game demonstrated our lack of tactical approach towards a game.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s team selection before any match has always been questioned. The selection of Fred ahead of Van De Beek, keeping Sancho on the bench, substituting players at crucial moments, lack of clear strategy in a game.
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Every United game appears more like a crumbled strategy and Solksjaer looks quite hesitant to giving chances to other players. Three losses in four games do tell the story that Manchester United is simply not able to defeat lower-rated teams and still is an unfinished product in the making.
A lot of individual brilliance but poor team performance has been on display and Solksjaer should try to improve the team’s tactical approach towards a game.
It’s high time now, Ole should take stronger decisions.
2. Manchester United’s midfield dilemma continues
The core of any strong team is decided by the quality of players playing at the center of the pitch. You have teams like Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea, who are stacked with world-class midfielders. But when it comes to Manchester United, the same midfielders are starting for the team even after performing poorly for months and years.
Yes, it is the McFred duo. Scott McTominay and Fred have been inconsistent and every United fan will agree to it but we don’t think Solkjsaer agrees to that one. Fred, rarely has one good game and is poor in his passing, gives the ball away cheaply, and is very slow in attacking. McTominay has been inconsistent and doesn’t provide that uniqueness to our attack.
United’s match against Aston Villa actually speaks about our midfield dilemma. Aston Villa players were very quick in their pressing and passing and left out defenders exposed a number of times.
Fred and McTominay just kept passing the ball but didn’t contribute in carrying it forward. Aston Villa’s John McGinn was able to run around quite comfortably and if Jack Grealish would have been there, the outcomes could have been much worse for Manchester United’s midfielder duo.
The transfer window is signalling United to buy new midfielders if they want to win trophies and build a solid core for the team.
3. David De Gea on rescue again
David De Gea was our hero of the match again. He was crucial against West Ham where he saved a last-minute penalty and he was again an important figure for the team.
His point-blank save of Ollie Watkins was great to watch. It was a classic De Gea foot save and throughout that he had saved the blushed of Maguire after his horror back pass. He was involved in another crucial save in the second half where he was quite solid in pushing away Watkin’s thunderous striker.
David De Gea has been in great shape this season and is looking like the same vintage De Gea that once rescued United’s entire season single-handedly.
His form is crucial if we have any hopes of playing with a strong defence this season.