For the second straight match week, Manchester United came back from a deficit to win a league game against London opposition. This time, they had to fight back from a two-goal deficit at Crystal Palace to win 3-2 and contribution writer, Nathan Quao, notes the main points.
Resilience shone through ultimately
For years, Manchester United were noted for not dying even when the sword was at their throats. They would fight back and get the result from some of the most challenging positions and against Crystal Palace, a loss was almost certain.
But they fought hard. The manager saw the need for changes and he threw on Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata and Luke Shaw. It was hand to the pump stuff and that got Chris Smalling, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic onto the scoresheet.
The team had to find something in the second half and it was great seeing that the hunger levels were up and they kept working until the points were attained. Rashford brought some good pace down the left and it helped to create and outlet and a good angle for attacks.
The difficulty of the challenge made the victory sweeter.
The poor start came up again
The three points are in the bag. Second place in the back in the hands of the Red Devils but those points should not mask the dreadful start in the first half.
Once again, the attitude that caused losses at Spurs and Huddersfield was on full display.
Passes were sloppy, there was no pace and players looked very disinterested. When the same things happens three or more times, it ceases to be coincidence.
Are there problems with the team’s mindset.? Or could it be tactical as players like Jesse Lingard, Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba all seem to get into the same space at the same time?
The manager has to sort this out quickly because the comeback victory trick will fail one day and that could be a very critical moment when a win is needed to attain a particular goal.
There should be a very strong reminder that teams will play their best when they face Manchester United.
The players must take this as a cue to put their best feet forward from the onset. It is the key to winning a game with comfort rather than labouring to a result.
Shots will get you goals and Matic proved it
For a team team blessed with the likes of Sanchez, Pogba, Lukaku and Matic, shooting from distance has almost an anathema to the Red Devils this season.
Some people will argue that there are never any guarantees of success when a shot is taken from distance but others will counter with the belief that a shot from distance can either be helped into the goal by a deflection (like for Townsend’s goal) or it gives the opposition goalie something to think about.
Man United have not done that often but Nemanja Matic took a gamble and it paid off. He decided to have a pop and that won the game eventually.
Against Benfica in the Champions League at Old Trafford, his shot forced an own goal and his Chelsea days show that he can give a good crack from range.
He said after the win at Crystal Palace that: “I’m happy I’ve scored my first goal for Manchester United, I know it’s not my job but I’m glad it got us the three points.”
Well, Nemanja Matic, scoring may not be your job but after getting one right, fans of the team would like a few more attempts. You never know what will happen. Tonight, your attempt brought a very important victory.