Manchester United remained winless for their 4th straight league game after drawing 2-2 with Arsenal at Old Trafford. Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard found the net for the Red Devils in response to strikes from Skhodran Mustafi and an own goal from Marcos Rojo. Contributing writer, Nathan Quao, followed the game and put down his thoughts.
An improvement in spirit
Whether it was the opponent or the game or the players wanted to show that they were still fighting for the cause, Man United looked better than they had done in previous weeks.
The team started well and the players were fighting for what was available on display and high praise must be given to Ander Herrera. He displayed the hunger and passion that had been missing for a long time.
He was all over the pitch to provide tackles and rhythm and to be the best nuisance.
Of course, better technique, better performances at crucial points could have turned the result in the team ‘s favour but the shift, on the whole, was far better than previous episodes.
The next step is to to sustain the showing and then, add some more goals to win games.
When all the excitement dies down, one thing will rise to the top of the soup and it was the repetition of silly mistakes all around the field.
Two of such errors gave Arsenal their goals on the night and they were simply embarrassing.
The first one had Smalling and De Gea as the main culprits. The defender completely shut down to lose Mustafi for the header while De Gea was very limp in going for the ball.
The second mistake was Rojo’s unwise attempt to pass with his weaker right foot under pressure. The sequence ended up with the defender helping the ball past De Gea.
When all the other factors that have been listed as being Man United’s afflictions are put aside, individual mistakes have bothered the team greatly and the game against Arsenal was another testimony.
The errors are piling up and they have proven to be very costly every time and a few examples quickly come to mind: Wolves at Old Trafford and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
It is time something was done about this because the hunt for top four spots is getting more and more challenging and these errors will keep stealing points from the team.
Consistency is needed from this point
The trend this season has been one of more lows and than highs but there needs to be a point at which the line of the graph begins to climb and Man United must make that happen from now.
There are league against Fulham, Liverpool, Cardiff, Huddersfield, and Bournemouth before the end of the year and a lot of points must be taken from these ties.
Players must keep pushing and working hard.
Eric Bailly must get better after his good shift against the Gunners. Marcos Rojo must keep things simple always.
Marcus Rashford must still get better in the area of decision making. Paul Pogba must produce more outstanding performances that are filled with creating and scoring.
He does have the ability to take shots and he must not be afraid to show the other players that shooting from range is not against the rules of the game.
Romelu Lukaku must score and score and score because goals always win matches and the team is not winning a lot of those at the moment.
Progress is needed henceforth and all- from player to manager- should strive for the same thing: a good winning run through Christmas.
A notable shout to Diogo Dalot who made his league debut for Man United. Thumbs up to him for lasting the entire game but whether it was the team shape or his opponents knew how to read him, he had a very difficult evening on the defensive end. He was beaten at every turn and there was a lot of concern that his side could be the Gunners’ route to winning the match.
The manager needs to study this closely and find a solution to the problem before it becomes a serious red flag that will harm any goal or objective.