Manchester United suffered a 2-1 loss at Wolves and hampered their chances of making the top four. Scott McTominay got United going in the first half but Diogo Jota and a Chris Smalling own goal settled the tie for the home side. Contributing writer, Nathan Quao, observed the match and has penned down his thoughts.
2nd straight failure at the Molineux
For the second time in two weeks, United fell short away at Wolves and the script almost played out the same way.
In the FA Cup, United went behind twice before getting a goal but even though the Red Devils got the opener through McTominay, the rest of the story was as poor as the FA Cup game.
Not enough effort, not enough skill, and not enough fight to get something on the day. The players were second best in all the challenges and the ripple effect was seen on the night.
The performance cascaded from when Wolves levelled the tie and the team just could not find anything from anywhere to stem the tide.
The manager just could not react to the situation and the loss was deserved.
Poor from players
The emotions may be raw and the pain may still be there but when everything settles down, the players will have to look themselves and take a good part of the blame.
Lingard wasted a very good chance to make it 2-0 with a feeble header that was saved and he went on to produce a flat performance. Romelu Lukaku was equally as guilty of missing easy opportunities to extend United’s lead.
Paul Pogba worked up a good sweat but he failed to impact the game in no shape or form, and lost possession too often. His passing success rate was just 69%, his lowing passing accuracy in any league game this season.
Fred, David De Gea, and Chris Smalling were culpable for all of Wolves’ goals and not a lot can be said in their defence.
Ashley Young gave off another below-par performance and that saw him giving faulty passes and taking very poor decisions in defence leading to his sending off.
The list could go on and on but what is clear is that United’s players could not compare themselves to Wolves’ and got the loss their performances merited.
Tougher Top 4 campaign
From looking sure of making the Champions League places, Man United now face a complicated route to the top four.
Games against West Ham, Everton, Man City, Chelsea, Huddersfield and Cardiff are next and if the recent performances are anything to go by, then these fixtures will be tough to handle.
Only one game has been won since the victory at PSG and the excitement of that night needs to leave the team immediately.
The race for top four places cannot be run with error-ridden showings, poor tactical choices and the absence of a will to win and succeed.
The reset button must be hit immediately and the manager must urge his charges. He has the job now and he must show that he is willing to succeed.
It is time to get back to work and march forward!