It is another big game away from home that Red Devil fans will just be looking at the team as if they do not know them. To be fair, they looked pretty similar to the team that strutted out pathetically against Wolves 5 days ago. Bruno and Rashford missed big chances in the first half. Sarr took his early in the second half. Martinez’s own goal consigned the team to a bad result away from home again. 3 more points than last season yet the mood is eerily similar to what we had this time last year.


United have seldom been in the big moments in the past decade. Those moments were that come probably once a game. That’s the difference. The difference is marginal at the highest levels. The marginality is often decided in the moments where you’re on top and making sure you take it.

Man Utd have not had that player who in those moments can decide the games time and time again since that season of Van Persie. It is really marked by the fact that United have just been relying on players who have the spright in the legs but not the experience and composure to really to be relied on. If not them, then it has been those who have shown the composure with the experience they have amassed but no longer with the sprightliness in their legs to truly carve out those chances time and time again. If they had both, they simply aren’t good enough.

Today, it was the same front three of Antony, Rashford and Garnacho. Once again, they all flattered to deceive. Rashford, to be fair to him, perhaps did as much as he could with the lack of service he received. The one time he did receive quality, with an audacious rabona cross from Bruno, he fluffed his lines with a very miskewed header. Rashford was offside, however. Bruno himself would do the same with an even better chance and he was not. Outside of that though, the Englishman did not get anything and it happens far too often when he starts games centrally. The two outside of him though were markedly poorer.

Garnacho, as mentioned on Monday, showed his age and lack of experience. In terms of how much of the ball each attacker got, the Argentine got the most. Yet, he did not do anything with it. At least he was not as rudderless as he had been when faced with Semedo. Pedro Porro gives a lot of space and was mistake ridden when receiving the ball in central positions. If these two games were anything, it shows this is still a kid that needs protection and the role he had last season as the game changer or stretching the play for counter attacks is more suited than a starting berth,

Finding words to say about Antony to quantify how truly bad he is, is getting more difficult week by week. There is simply not an attacking quality that he has that is capable of being a United player. Even if he were to grow. He has both the lack of experience, composure and skill to truly be a difference maker. Even the shot he smacked against the post, ultra criticism can be levied at him for not putting enough swerve on the ball to bring it back past the post. United have seldom been in the big moments in the past decade. They won’t be getting to anymore if they are unable to find the marginal differences that get you there.

Other Thoughts

If there were ever a Jekyll and Hyde moment, it was with Bruno Fernandes today. Before that missed chance, he was actually standing out as United’s best player. After that, he seemingly snapped. A yellow card followed for his customary argumentative nature. Then, he fell into his strop mode and when that happens, his performance levels drops. He’s the captain now and it is one of the things that was put as a con for him to be the permanent captain. He was pushed wide and completely faded from the game. The second goal comes from him being in his strop mode and not going back to help Dalot, who had become isolated. When you see the influence Maddison was able to exert on the other team, without getting a goal or assist, you start to wonder whether Bruno Fernandes is made for these tight affairs.

It has been 38 games since that fateful night in Brentford. Since then, United in terms of style of play have not progressed as much as many would have predicted or wanted. It is harder to score against the team but there is only so much they can do with what happens in front of them.