Manchester United played West Bromwich Albion on Sunday at Old Trafford. It was expected of United to win the game against the bottom placed team 3-0 or 4-0 or even more given their sensational 2-3 comeback win against City. But after denying City championship at Etihad last saturday, they surrendered title by losing against West Brom.
How did United lose vs West Brom?
1.Masters in complicated football.
That’s how Jose Mourinho felt about United’s game. The reds over complicated things. There were one too many touches, too many passes, extra flicks, tricks during the build up. This meant United would sometimes easily lose possession and had to scamper back for West Brom’s counter.
Utter lack of attacking know how meant faltering in front of the game at their own backyard and such results are completely unbecoming of a team wishing to challenge for the league in the near future.
Jose Mourinho scolds players after Manchester United's shock loss to West Brom: "We were masters in complicated football" (ESPN)
— Football Reports (F/R) (@_FootballReport) April 15, 2018
2. Slow tempo of passing vs West Brom
United were really slow with their passing game. During the build up due to lack of passing accuracy and forward runs of players the tempo of build up was very poor. This helped the West Brom defence to be organised by the time United were in final third.
A utter lack of urgency with the ball at their feet led to them being unable to score against the bottom most team in the league at a time when it had seemed like United could at-least delay the title celebrations a couple of weeks at-least given the easy run of fixtures for United ahead.
This Manchester United fan certainly wasn’t entertained during his teams defeat to West Brom today!? pic.twitter.com/TXcKmz1N1A
— Terrace Images (@TerraceImages) April 15, 2018
3. Absence of Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba was on yellow due to his attempt to score a goal with hand in first half. Hence, he had to be substituted for last 30 minutes after he challenged West Brom defender and second yellow could have meant absence from FA cup semi final against Spurs.
This meant United dearly missed their enforcer when he was needed the most to break deadlock and United ultimately failed to do so against West Brom thus surrendering the title over to Manchester City.
Despite the recent frosty relations between the Frenchman and his manager, the utility and vitality of Paul Pogba in United’s midfield cannot he denied and after his heroics last week against Manchester City, his rich vein of form and stamina during the dying minutes was hugely missing and ultimately cost his team.
4. Stats don’t lie..
Although United bossed possession with 70% to West Brom’s 30%, both team had identical no.of shots on target (4) and equal no.of corners (4). The scoring boots were also left in dressing room as United had 14 shots overall out of which only 4 were on target, poor stats for a team with Lukaku, Sanchez, Lingard, Martial and Rashford all playing of for last 10 minutes.
For a team boasting the likes of Pogba, Sanchez, Lukaku, Martial in their team thats a very hard result to digest at home when playing in front of your own fans. Losing to the bottom most team currently having their third manager of the season and who are sure to be relegated is utterly unacceptable and for Mourinho to perform so badly despite having such lavish attacking talents on offer is quite disappointing.
Its almost like the team belted out unbelievable heroics last week only to turn around and walk away in shame at their home in from of their fans as their cross town rivals painted the City in Blue.
— Alternative Commentary (@AlternativeComs) April 18, 2018
5. Foster’s successful Old Trafford return and penalty denied
Ben Foster stood like a human wall and made string of good saves and was very decisive in his and his team’s play. Herrera was caught by Brom defender Craig Dawson, but saw his penalty appeal denied.
Hence at the end of 90 Minutes at Old Trafford, Manchester United lost, West Brom won but would still be relegated at end of season and it was the blue side of Manchester, Manchester City who were the real winners.
"With a team like Man Utd… You spend a lot of time travelling, in hotels. It just wasn't for me."
West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster says Manchester United did not suit his family-man lifestyle.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 15, 2018