There was no better example of an end of season dead rubber than today. Fortunately for us, when the games are at this intensity, United are able to beat teams of experience due their penchant of playing at it through the season. The first half was still a drubbing in anything but the scoresheet. 10 shots on Onana’s goal, one Martinez had to clear off the line and another that Joao Pedro should have struck home were the biggest chances for the home side. However, they didn’t and the Red Devils punished them. Dalot off a lovely through ball from Casemiro and then Hojlund scored once again with his right foot off the bench to give us a positive end to the season. We will see if it is even better next week.

Working Your Way Out

With nothing much to play for (our European fate lay more in our hands against City than it did today), this was pretty much a dress rehearsal for the cup final. With that in mind, it meant that players would be able to play themselves into contention for the starting XI.

If there was ever a performance to play yourself out of it, then it would have been what Amrabat done today. With such a state of flux in the middle of the park, the continued omission of Amrabat from the first XI has been quite startling. This is a manager who both worked with him before and fought for him to be brought into the team. So much so, he was brought in on exorbitant costs for a loan deal (£8m). In fact, the manager mentioned himself that he would be the one to take the pressure of Casemiro, if he was running low on fatigue and/or form, as one of the big reasons that he was signed. Yet, he has provided nothing of the sort.

Performances like today almost give credence as to why the manager refused to use him as he initially intended. The amount of times he got caught on the ball from a blindside press was unfathomable from an experienced player. Brighton clearly set him up as the pressing trigger because they knew he would often be left on his lonesome in the centre of the park because of the tactics that Ten Hag employs. Even so, after the third time, you think that between his team mates and himself, they would have found some sort of solution. We are not that sort of team though, on or off the pitch. With Casemiro potentially having to continue at the back, Amrabat had a real claim to say he would be the one starting in the FA Cup final but when he turns out games like he does today, it does nothing to suggest that would be a good idea. Man City are a more aggressive press than Brighton and they do better at keeping the ball away from you. Losing the ball like he done today on plenty of occasions, especially in the first half, will just make the task to beat our neighbours in the cup final all the more difficult.

Spark Needed In The Outlets

The attack has been a problem area all season. So much so that even without injuries, Rashford and Hojlund found themselves on the bench today. The latter more to do with his poor form since he has come back from injury and Rashford having just come back from injury. However, it was expected that the manager might tune him up more for the clash against Man City next week but he didn’t.

Instead, he continued with the two false 9s and perhaps it enshrined to many that as much as they have their difficulties, you simply cannot have an attack as anaemic as United did with the front two of Bruno and McTominay. This is nothing to do with them but rather showing that Man Utd do not have the technicians throughout the team to compete without players to stretch in behind, like Rashford and Hojlund. Garnacho can but on the left, he looks to come inside more. Amad is more of a link player. We became more threatening when they came on today and the Dane came off the bench to repeat the feat of Newcastle by scoring a late one. When you factor in Man City’s weakness this season has been an inability to deal with forays in behind their back line on counters, a game like today surely shows that at least one of those two attackers who were on the bench today, have to start at Wembley.