Following a 1-1 draw with Wolves and Southampton, fans demanded a strong response from Manchester United as questions about the depth, quality and integrity of the squad were put on stage. However, the Reds grinded out a tough 1-0 victory against Leicester City, as Marcus Rashford’s penalty goal was enough to secure all three points.
A Professional Win Is A Win
Prior to kick-off, Manchester United fans felt the pressure of a bouncing Leicester City uncomfortable, and somewhat disturbing given the fact that Manchester United were hosting the visitors at Old Trafford. Questions about being overwhelmed in midfield, a lack in creativity and a plethora of injuries were of much concern to the fans, but how long were we to have worried? Yes, it was far from a perfect performance, but given the fact that this current Manchester United squad is part of a transition phase, fans should be relieved to have seen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer grind out a tough , scrappy result against a threatening Leicester City side this season.
Consistency is key in any elite team, and Manchester United must continue to fight for results – in pretty or ugly fashion.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Got It Right
The past few games were subpar results and performances, but fans felt disappointed at Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer for his decision to not make substitutions earlier on in the match in order to rectify issues or make any substitutions at all. However, today’s result was different. Both United and Leicester City weren’t outputting dominating performances, but when the flow of the game started to leave Manchester United’s grasp, Leicester came pounding at the door. This time around, OGS brought on Fred and Chong for Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic respectively, two substitutes who restored balance to a side filled with holes. Both players didn’t come on to produce 10/10 performances, but they certainly did bring a level of relief onto the game and restore balance for the eventual victory.
Nemanja Static (Thank You @GuardianDan)
Nemanja Matic was quoted last week about his beliefs in the totality of responsibility for a manager, wherein he stated that a manager’s job is to get the best out of his players. He further went on to comment that a lack of results and a poor performance was the manager’s responsibility. If this was the case, then OGS must surely be criticized for Matic’s poor performance today? Matic started the game off well but hit a decline in form rather quickly during the match, constantly standing on his heels and creating uncomfortable passing situations to those around him, thus making their midfield roles rather difficult. His legs were certainly giving up on him, but his decision to keep aerial balls in the air as opposed to bringing them down to feet to continue fluid play will always baffle me.
Clean Sheet, Happy Days
David De Gea wasn’t too troubled during the match, but there were a few instances (particularly the half volleys attempts from Maddison and Chilwell) where Spanish Dave needed to step up – and so he did. You might not classify those saves as a traditional, world-class save from our shots-stopper, but we’ve been sorely needing a clean sheet and a good performance from DDG for quite some time. Rumors of his contract negotiations being completed are circulating the media grounds, so maybe now that the deal’s been signed, can David De Gea focus solely on football?
Youth is the Future
David De Gea might’ve done well to keep the clean sheet, but credits must also be issued to Aaron wan Bissaka and Harry Maguire in particular – two players who continue to shine and outshine. The former seems to be the exemplary player of “consistency”, while the latter seems to have settled in his job as a leader rather quickly and effectively. Fans were able to see the difference in quality in our central defensive pairing, and to see Maguire exuding confidence, composure and leadership qualities is a great sign of what’s to come ahead should things improve under the Glazers.