Arsenal 2-0 Manchester United: 3 Things we learnt
#2. Manchester United finally feel the weight of their injuries
Manchester United arrived at the Emirates on the back of a run which had seen them notch 9 consecutive away victories. The string of wins included stunning displays at Tottenham (PL), Arsenal (FA Cup), Chelsea (FA Cup) and Paris Saint-Germain (CL). Thus, many expected them to make a fist of the trip to North London.
However, the visitors were poor in the opening quarter of the game and handed Arsenal the initiative. The Red Devils’ system played into the Gunners’ hands with Sead Kolasinac in particular, enjoying himself. Though the away side was able to tweak things and establish control, the hosts had found the early ascendancy they craved.
But, the most disappointing aspect of United’s play was their lack of conviction at both ends of the pitch which could be put down to mental exhaustion. Romelu Lukaku spurned several gilt-edged opportunities while Marcus Rashford probably had his worst game under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Defensively too, De Gea got caught in no man’s land for Xhaka’s opener while Fred indulged in some questionable defending after the hour mark.
Since Solskjaer’s tenure began, the Red Devils have left everyone in their wake. However, on Sunday, they lost their concentration at crucial junctures and were made to pay heavily.
Thus, highlighting that United’s threadbare squad could be feeling the effects of a congested fixture list. And if they are to mount a serious assault on the top four, they need some of their players back.
However, the Red Devils’ fans need not panic yet. After all, it was only Solskjaer’s first poor game and in light of everything he has achieved so far, the Norwegian was surely allowed one bad day at the office.