United 0 - 0 City
Valencia(Darmian) Smalling Jones Rojo
Mata(Lingard) Herrera Martial
|Impressive Performance From Rojo|
Ahhh we could've won that. Despite being a balanced game in which both teams showed excellent tactical discipline, I thought United edged it. A draw is a just result but no one would've complained had we won it at the end.
Our defenders were really good. The much hyped Sterling and De Bruyne didn't really do anything noteworthy and their striker, Bony, was in Smalling's back pocket all afternoon. Smalling was superb again. He marshaled our defence to a great performance. Our fullbacks were quite comfortable throughout the game. I thought Rojo was excellent; great defensively and managed to put in a couple of inviting crosses into City's box. It's a shame we didn't really have someone to finish them. Valencia was solid defensively and tried to attack City all afternoon until he had to be subbed off due to injury. Jones was a tad hesitant at the start but he grew into the game.
Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger were very impressive. The former was my man of the match. It feels so good to finally having three central midfielders of such quality. Today's two central midfielders and Michael Carrick are very good footballers. Fellaini isn't exactly on a par with the trio but he is quite handy too. He put in a decent shift when he was brought on today. The Belgian almost assisted Smalling to a winner.
Herrera was very lively but never really got into positions that troubled City. Mata was our weakest player today. He misplaced a pass or two and never really got going. Rooney worked hard but, again, he wasn't at his best. I love Rooney, I appreciate his contribution to Manchester United but he's simply not good to play up front anymore. He never got past City's defence. We had Martial playing out wide who looked like troubling City everytime he had the ball at his feet. Martial has to play up front while Roo drops deeper.
Some are calling for Roo's head. Put Wayne on the bench? I don't know. United's players need a player of his experience around them. Look at him using his body to block Otamendi. The Argentine would have finished Kolarov's inviting cross late in the game. That is experience. I still believe that Roo's a player that can change a game. He just doesn't look like doing so at the moment. It's a difficult one for LVG. He benched Blind and Memphis, both Dutch, so I don't think he'd find a problem in dropping Rooney. I don't know what's best.
The game didn't have many chances but the best ones definitely fell to our players. Smalling had two goalscoring chances but had one saved and another went wide. Lingard almost won us the game when his lob hit the bar. The move was started by Martial and I must commend Lingard for some excellent movement to get into that position. Would have loved to see Jesse score the winner!
All in all I'm pleased with the performance but I am a bit disappointed that we didn't manage to get the three points. City had two key players missing and weren't great at all today. Our defenders nullified their attacking threat while Martial gave them all sorts of trouble when he ran at their defenders. Perhaps Memphis should have been given a chance on the left today and Martial should have probably played up top. But I'm no tactician so I guess LVG knows what he's doing.
Capital One Cup fixture coming up vs. Middlesborough. Give the likes of Blind, Carrick, Memphis, Lingard, Fellaini some game time. I think LVG is doing brilliant in his squad rotation. Come on United!