In a spirited performance from a somewhat makeshift line up, Rashford put the team ahead and were so, until a late equaliser from Lallana meant that these two great rivals share the spoils
… And Rashford
A lot has been made about the lack of goals from United throughout the season and much of the blame, outside of the manager, has fallen on the shoulders of Marcus Rashford. Today, Solskjaer decided to give Rashford a partner in attack for the first time this season, in the shape of Daniel James. The goal came from great work from the latter, who feed the former with an excellent ball into the box and it is something that has been prominent in Rashford game for a while, where his movement at the back post or off the flank is much better than when tasked to decide to move back or front post. In a tandem, the Englishman is able to focus more on one defender, harrying them. Also, the other striker is keeping the other centre back and not allowing him to cover round. Perhaps the option of pairing Rashford with the soon incoming Martial, back from injury, is something that might be an avenue to getting more potency in attack.
In a changed shape, the Swede lined up on the right of a back three and within the first few minutes, Origi showed that Lindelof’s hesitation was a good source of attack today. For Mane’s chalked off effort, by VAR, the defending was more than wuestionable and was lucky to be bailed out in the end. He looked uncomfortable with any sort of ball powered into the air or down the line. He regularly ventured into midfield when there was no need to, winning the ball back from Mane on one occasion to be fair to him. Outside of that, it was an uncomfortable 90 minutes and with Tuanzebe breathing down his neck for a space as the second choice CB, it will put doubt into the coaching staff at Old Trafford.
Many have been calling for the Belgium born Brazilian to be able provide some of the composure on the ball that the Red Devils faithful has been crying out for in recent weeks and while it was nowhere near perfect, it was a performance that has more substance than anything that he has put in any of the first team appearances he has had thus far in a Man Utd shirt. His usual intensity and tackling was more than useful in the 10 role he played today as he, James and Rashford provided a great pressing shield prior to all of them tiring. What was most impressive that in the second half, as he moved from the position behind the striker to a right centre midfield, was that he got better in possession passing two great balls as United struggled to get out of their half with their legs wobbling from fatigue