PSV 2 - 1 United
Darmian Smalling Blind Shaw(Rojo)
Young(Valencia) Mata Memphis
|Moreno might have taken the ball but that was a reckless challenge, should have been a red.|
Football is all about winning the three points at stake or getting the furthest possible in cup competitions. However, there comes a time when failure to do so does not matter even one bit. United somehow lost against PSV but our biggest loss tonight was Luke Shaw who went down to one horrific injury. I honestly don’t care about the points dropped, I just feel gutted for Luke.
It’s still early days but Luke was having one hell of a season. Together with Chris Smalling, he’s been our best player. Luke played seven times and didn’t have one poor game this season. He also looked very lively during the 20 minutes he played tonight. Quite a few coaches, especially in the England setup, believed that Luke Shaw will develop into a world class fullback. Pundits like Neville and Rio kept insisting that Luke will eventually come good when things weren’t too rosy for our left-back last year. This season, it seemed, Luke was fulfilling the potential everyone was raving about when he was with Southampton. Unfortunately, today’s game was probably his last of the season. A double fracture will most definitely mean he’ll be out for at least six months.
The guy’s unlucky. His first season in Manchester was hampered by injury and he couldn’t really find his feet. He worked extra hard during his summer holidays to come back in top shape and his hard work was paying off. But sometimes football can be cruel and it has been very cruel to Luke ever since he signed for United.
So what’s next for Luke? It will be a long road to recovery. He’ll have to keep away from the group and slowly rebuild his strength doing tedious exercises at the gym. Hopefully he won’t try to rush back to play for the sake of playing in the upcoming Euros in France. What’s worrying is that you’ll never know whether Luke will be the same player again. He’s still 19 so hopefully that will help as he’ll be able to regain his fitness in less time. I can recall Valencia and Alan Smith’s leg breaks, both never really managed to rediscover their form before the injury. Hopefully Luke will come back stronger, as he’s promised in his tweet after the game.
We’ll certainly miss his speed and his reassurance at the back as well as his creativity when bombing forward. His partnership with Memphis was looking very promising. Get well soon Luke!
As for the game, I have absolutely no idea how we lost that. We were in control from start to finish and even managed to create some very good chances. Memphis scored an excellent goal, I don’t know how he cannot take his Champions League form into the Premier League. He was unlucky not to score another after a fine move with Martial.
Shaw’s injury means that Blind will go back to a fullback position and Rojo will play alongside Chris Smalling. It’s very unlucky for Daley who had made that centre back position his own. Blind was booed all night for his Ajax past and looked a bit confused when he had to play at fullback. He was unlucky to head Moreno’s header into the back of DDG’s net but managed to create Memphis’ goal with a very good pass. We now have a totally different full back filling the left-back role. Luke’s fast, Blind’s very slow. Blind is a better passer of the ball though so that might help Memphis. We’ll see.
It was a night to forget for another of our fullbacks. Darmian had his first bad game in a United shirt. Both PSV goals could have been avoided if he was a tad more careful. The first goal came from a corner that was conceded after some miscommunication between Smalling and Darmian. The player who our Italian was supposed to be marking, the same guy who broke Shaw’s foot and who shouldn’t have been on the pitch, headed home PSV’s first. The second goal was the result of a careless pass from Darmian. He’s been excellent this season so he’ll be forgiven for tonight’s performance.
I was a bit disappointed with Schweinsteiger and Herrera. I don’t think they were as effective as they should be. Schweinsteiger often slowed our play down and was a tad careless in his passing. World Class players can change games even on an off day and he almost managed to do so when he delivered one heck of a lobbed pass to Mata who failed to score from a very ideal position. Mata should have made it 2-2 there.
Mata played in his preferred role but, again, I expected better from him. Young had a good game but his final ball lacked quality. Martial battled hard. He looked like he wanted the ball all the time and that’s nice to see. There were some very few flashes of brilliance from our youngster but it was quite a frustrating night for him. What’s worrying is that he seems to be a player that likes to go deep for the ball and there were times when his insistence on doing so meant that there was no target man in the PSV box. We’ve already got a striker that likes to play this kind of game; a certain Wayne Rooney.
Smalling, with the exception of conceding a needless corner that led to their first goal, was excellent once again. The ease at which he managed to steal the ball from PSV’s players was a joy to watch. Hopefully he can form a good partnership with Marcos Rojo.
Southampton next. Hopefully we’ll be able to put this game behind us and get the three points. Let’s hope no more injuries hit our ridiculously thin squad.