Manchester United played Chelsea in the FA cup semi-finals after winning against Norwich City in the previous round. Manchester United lost with a whopping scoreline of 3-1. United’s only goal came from the Bruno Fernandes penalty awarded in the 85th minute. Lampard’s side lost against Manchester United three times this season but then Lampard had his revenge against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Chelsea outclassed United both tactically as well as mentally as they thrashed United. Let’s break down what we took away from the game.
United Captain Maguire clashed into Eric Bailly when receiving a ball. Furthermore they clashed heads which resulted in Bailly’s injury and possible concussion. Maguire survived the knock better, as he continued to play after wearing a medical head band. On the other hand, Bailly received treatment for 11 minutes, despite the efforts he could not stand properly. Later the medical team arrived with a stretcher to take away Eric Bailly. Bailly was then immediately taken to the hospital but nothing severe has emerged yet. The United squad looked bleak after the clash as two integral players suffered a blow. Following the resumption of play Anthony Martial also received a knock which mentally bogged down players eventually leading to a goal from Olivier Giroud.
De Gea’s errors
David De Gea has received a lot of flak and criticism for his performances over the past 2 years, especially after the 2018 World Cup. The Spaniard has not been able to get back to his best form even though the club have been supportive of him. Ole chose De Gea over Romero to show trust in De Gea but the goalkeeper didn’t reiterate the trust. De Gea made 2 errors leading to goals. Mason Mount shot the ball from outside the box, the ball swerved a bit and deflected off De Gea’s gloves. The shot could be easily saved and an error shouldn’t have been made, especially from a keeper of De Gea’s stature.
De Gea should have been able to do better on the third goal which deflected off Harry Maguire as well. Over the last 9 years, De Gea has saved United on his own will but it looks like the time has come for De Gea to move on. Next season Dean Henderson returns from Sheffield United and the Spaniard’s position is surely in doubt.
Chelsea actively pressed United’s defence and it wreaked havoc. United had an error-prone defence and Lampard successfully exploited this problem. Moreover, our midfield looked helpless as well. United’s defence failed to bring the ball out due to the lack of space and hence it resulted in a dysfunctional midfield as well. Bruno Fernandes should have done better, especially after his most recent performances. Ole set United to play Long balls into the opposition half but then United failed to capitalise on the few chances they received. The attack simply did not receive the ball enough to be able to make something out of it. United were tactically outclassed from a win-hungry Frank Lampard. United surely need to work on the ability to build from the back and operating in tight spaces.
United lacked options in all departments. After a poor performance from Fred and Daniel James, Starting regulars Pogba and Greenwood had to be reintroduced to spark some hope. After this performance, United should still go for Jadon Sancho and improve their squad depth as they lack players who can come off the bench and make a serious impact. A central defender, a midfielder and another strike option should be key to United’s plans. Last week we faced a similar crisis against Southampton after both Shaw and Williams were injured.
United are unfortunately out of the FA cup now and they must set sight on a top 4 finish as well as a Europa League victory to brighten their year. It was surely a day to forget but Ole must look back and learn from this experience. United’s vulnerability has been exposed now. It is now on the squad to take the chances. Maguire and Matic both missed crucial headers which could have resulted in goals. United need to be able to respond better to such situations.
What do you make of the game? Where do you think United need to improve? Do let us know in the comments below.
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