Sunday, May 03, 2015

"Review on Manchester United performance V/S West Brom, 0-1, 02 May 2015”

Review on Manchester United performance versus West Brom:

United XI: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, McNair, Blind, Mata, Herrera, Fellaini, Young, Rooney, Van Persie. Subs: Valdes, Blackett, Jones, Di Maria, Januzaj, Pereira, Falcao.

West Brom XI: Myhill, Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Lescott, Brunt, Yacob, Gardner, Mulumbu, Fletcher, Berahino. Subs: Rose, Wisdom, Baird, Sessegnon, McManaman, Ideye, Anichebe.

Van Persie started the match after his injury lay off since early February. It was good to have him back but he will be very disappointed with his performance and for missing the penalty. I believed West Brom came to Old Trafford for a draw but they were damn lucky to run away with a win by a single goal deflected from free-kick in the 63rd minutes (0-1). After the lost against Chelsea, everything seems to be crumbling down for United and the players character are no where to be found. The lack of penetration in attacks despite having the majority of ball possession throughout the match is exactly the type of football without creativity.

Believe it or not! United enjoyed 80 percent of the ball possession throughout the match whereas it is only 20 percent for West Brom. Di Maria coming on as a substitute in the second half for Daley Blind makes no difference in the match. Instead, he wasted couple of ball possession resulting from his wayward crosses.

The first half from United was blunt when it comes to attacking with pace and tenacity. Holding on the ball inside West Brom area doesn't appear to trouble any of the West Brom defenders including their holding midfielders. It was only defense for West Brom with no intention to attack except from set piece and minimal counter attack. Of course! Ball possession is good for any forward players when you have the likes of Xavi and Andre Iniesta in the same team. It is because they can break down any type of defense mechanism. But I fear United emphasis on ball possession is doing no good when a natural goal scorer like Rooney is playing as midfielder and Herrera who normally play as attacking midfielder started the match as deep-lying midfielder.

The formation of United from the match may provide a balance in the team but it is also a disadvantage when it comes to attacking with flair. Michael Carrick is the balance to the team who can read the game. Unfortunately, there are no player from the current squad who can fill his position with ease.

I really do not want to give full credit to West Brom defense minded style of football. It is because United players did not perform to their caliber. The second half from United was not that different from the first half. And I don't understand whether the players have lost their confidence. And although Fellaini performance in second half gave a fresh breath of air but there was something extraordinary moment missing from all the players during the match. As a fan, I can keep on saying the lost was very unfortunate but that's not true. And as reviewer, I have to conclude with the fact that United is greatly in need of player like Ole Gunnar Solskjær who can instantly make a difference from losing scoreline to winning scoreline. Therefore, the performance of United players was extremely average and they all deserved the scoring mark of typical 2 out of 5.

After losing three matches in trot, United have an uphill task to maintain the 4th position in order to qualify for the next season Champions League. And with Liverpool lurking behind at 5th position with only four points gap, it is do or die situation for United with the 3 matches left to be played. United cannot afford to lose any of the remaining three games. Although the style of playing has improve a lot comparing with last season, it still not the same United under Sir Alex Ferguson. It is not about comparing the present team with the past team of United. But it is the high level of standard set by the past team under Sir Alex Ferguson is what the present players under the guidance of Van Gaal have to work on it. Rest assured, winning will become a habit.

I will rate 2 out 5 stars for the match performance from United players.

The upcoming match for Manchester United is on 09 May 2015 against Crystal Palace (Away match). And the Match will start at 10:00 PM (IST).

Thank you. Have a good night!

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