Sleepwalking to the end of the season would compliment the efforts of the United players. Varane and Telles terrible mistakes in the build up allowed for Saka to shoot on goal. De Gea turned away but Dalot was fast asleep at the back post so Tavarez stole in to put Arsenal ahead within 2 minutes. Telles at fault once again by conceding a stupid penalty, that Saka tucked to his bottom left. Ronaldo would grab one back to finish the scoring in a somewhat compelling first half.

United were the better team for the opening 25 minutes of the second half, as they hit the post twice. One from Bruno penalty and another from a Dalot shot, which Ramsdale pushed onto the woodwork. Dalot hit the woodwork in the first half as well, without the assistance of Ramsdale on that occasion. The game was wrapped up as Bruno lost the ball in United’s half once again and Xhaka sweetly struck past De Gea. 4 more games left and the suffering will end.

Taking Rest Too Literally

Throughout the season, much of the commentary about how United would be defend was how they would do it in transitional states. The lack of a press when you have Ronaldo up top in your team when the modus operandi for the previous two and half seasons before that was the ability to catch teams in moments when they had just turned the ball over and attack into the space. It was supposed to be a change this season where the team were going to be protagonists both on and off the ball. As we all know, that has not be the story but there is something far more concerning about the way in which United defend.

Their ability to control the space whilst in their organisational defence, rest defence if you will, is slipshod when putting it nicely. The constant hanging out to dry that Bruno does with his stupid pressing is something I comment on with enough regularity but it is considered in why we find ourselves so open but the idea of rest defence is ironic in the name because the intensity should never dropped. Being able to shuffle across to close the gaps, getting out to the ball when there is an opportunity to put pressure on the ball carrier so they don’t have an easy pass, as Odegaard had for the chance that led to penalty for Arsenal’s 2nd, or can shoot without pressure, as Xhaka managed to do for Arsenal’s third.

Even when United were able to do something to put pressure on, individual errors, like Varane and Telles for the first, still were able to undo them. It is a team that doesn’t like to defend, nor show the desire to do it even if they do not like doing it or even show the know how of what to do in order to deny opponents the opportunity to have an easy ride of things.

No matter the combination in midfield or defence, the team just cannot stem the flow of threatening attacks from the opposition. You wonder what they do in training across several different managers, outside of perhaps Van Gaal, the utter uselessness that the players defend in a block is bordering on amateurish. The lack of accountability of the players on the pitch to pull others into the correct spaces is even more concerning too. The lack of care to want to succeed runs through the club from top to bottom.

Other Thoughts

It has been a rotten season for Bruno Fernandes and you know how rotten it really is when he can’t even seem to score penalties anymore. The hop and skip sent Ramsdale the wrong way but went to hit the post and out of play. The fact he was at fault for the third goal as well having lost it on the edge of his box for the umpteenth time this season shows that he doesn’t learn. And he simply doesn’t. He won’t learn and his shortfalls will continue to be land mines United will have to side step in order to navigate themselves to some sort of level that was tantamount to the levels Ferguson set.

Along the way, he may pop up with some goals and assists but even with those positives, he actually manages to be a net negative to the team. One wonder how the hell he fits in Ten Hag’s system but given that the United hierarchy were falling over themselves to award him a contract for being the best of bad bunch since his arrival, he will probably be forced to find a place for him in his team. Long may the Bruno revolution continue.

A special word for Ronaldo, who not only scored having returned to the starting XI after the terrible tragedy he had at the beginning of the week, but was great in his all round play. He should have taken the penalty and it is weird that he didn’t. He was narrowly denied of a second with a correct VAR decision but he was undeserving of being on the losing side.