Manchester United suffered a shock 1-0 defeat on Saturday at home against minnows Aston Villa. The English giants were certainly favourites to win the match, playing in front of their home crowd at the Theatre of Dreams. However, it was the away side that came out triumphant through an 88th minute headed goal by Villa defender, Kortney Hause.
The hosts had the chance to redeem themselves through a spot-kick during added time, courtesy of a handball. But, the Red Devils failed to secure the single point after star midfielder Bruno Fernandes shot the ball wide of the target.
The loss against Villa is their first defeat in the Premier League this season after a five-game unbeaten run. However, this is not something to brag about as it is their third defeat across all competitions and Ole will be looking to bounce back.
There were many faults on United’s part, but let’s focus on the primary points. With that in mind, here are three things that went wrong for Manchester United in their last game against Aston Villa.
1. United Looked Open Again
The Red Devils started the season with an impressive 5-1 win over Leeds and maintained an unbeaten five-game run in the Premier League. Despite this, they haven’t been too dominant in all these games, often giving out clear chances to opponents in front of goal.
In last week’s game, Aston Villa had better chances on goal, despite Manchester United having more possession of the ball. The Red Devils seemed confident with the ball and constantly troubled the visitors, but depended too much on the quality of their players to produce results. This certainly did not work out well for them and left too many open chances for Villa to set up attacks, making them deserved winners.
2. McFred Again
The midfield duo of Scott McTominay and Fred served Ole well throughout last season, proving to be the best double-pivot pairing for the team, but this doesn’t seem to be the case for the current season. McTominay recently returned from an injury and is still yet to find his form. As for Fred, his performances have been pretty disappointing, with the Brazilian often being the weak link in midfield.
However, Ole still chose to play the duo despite Donny van de Beek’s excellent performance in the 1-0 loss to West Ham in the Carabao Cup. The Dutchman had an impressive game despite the loss and showed why he was worthy of his transfer fee. Ole should have banked upon this form and showed the confidence in him to start his first Premier League game this season, but the Norwegian boss decided otherwise and chose to bench the midfielder.
3. United Are Faltering And Lack Cohesiveness
The Red Devils looked strong at the start of the season, with three important additions in positions that needed upgrades. On paper, they seem like a side capable of beating any team in the Premier League, especially with the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo but as things stand, the resurgent Red Devils are once again showing signs of faltering.
Ole’s team lack cohesiveness despite their previous wins at the start of the season. The players do not follow any well-defined pattern of play and once disaster struck in the form of a red card while playing against Young Boys, United haven’t been able to recover ever since. Manchester United lack confidence in their play and their general level of performance against Aston Villa showed that.
The Red Devils certainly do not lack in squad depth and individual talent but individual brilliance is not enough to win against every opponent they come across. Ole needs to find a clear strategy and philosophy of play that the players can follow and raise their level of performance as a cohesive unit.
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