Manchester United got back to winning ways as they beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League. Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez got the goals on the day and contributing writer, Nathan Quao, of Citi Sports, outlines the main points from the encounter.
Clarity on roles is needed
Despite the victory, it was very clear that there was not enough cohesion for the first 60 minutes or so. One can mention Huddersfield’s dogged approach and say that they were at Old Trafford to defend but the Red Devils looked uncertain especially in attack.
It was as though everyone in the attacking positions wanted the ball and no one was ready to make runs and create spaces. The likes of Lukaku, Sanchez and Lingard all called for passes when there were no targets in better positions.
That only helped Huddersfield to stay in place and keep their shape for as long as they did.
However, when the changes were made, the difference emerged and there was more freedom to utilise.
It is very understandable that the manager wants to give the team the best chance of winning matches but without knowing how well to mix ingredients, success will not come as expected.
The manager must study his team and see who can do what for him especially as the season gets down to the business end.
Lukaku must be helped
This is not the first time that this theme has been noted down after a match and it will be repeated if certain wrongs are not corrected.
The team has a good striker in Romelu Lukaku but unlike certain forwards, he cannot make his own goals. That is a truth that must be seen by all including the manager and the players.
The Belgian forward does very good work in terms of holding the ball up and contributing to the team’s cause. But that does not negate his job description- scoring goals- and the one against Huddersfield goes to prove that if he gets the service, he will score.
It is as clear as daylight.
A breakdown of his goal haul this season will further strengthen this claim and the team must be made aware of this and play to his strengths.
It could just be time for the manager to start thinking about a wide man who can start delivering the goods to Romelu Lukaku. Only then will the world see the true worth of Romelu Lukaku.
Sanchez gets going
Everyone who saw the match must have had one wish: an Alexis Sanchez goal on his Old Trafford debut and that was granted. On a day set aside to remember the souls of the players who passed on in the Munich Air Disaster, the Chilean must have wanted the same thing to perhaps pay his own tribute.
But he could have fluffed his lines. Thankfully, he did not.
Apart from the goal, he did put in a good shift in the second half. The first 45 minutes were not his best and he was eager to get it right.
The downside? The loss of possession. Was he crowded too much or he was trying to do too much? It is difficult to explain but that is why the manager is there.
He needs to resolve that challenge very quickly. Players must make themselves available when the Chilean is in possession but he should be sharper with his decisions.
The pressure must be off him now that he has his goal. Manchester United fans will expect a lot more and then, some, from their new number 7.
The RoM Manchester United 2021-22 season preview is now available for just £6. It includes articles from the country's best football writers about our expectations for the season ahead and our brightest talents, as well as proposed transfer business and which youth players to keep an eye out for. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.