United 1 - 0 Zorya
Fosu-Mensah(Young) Bailly Smalling Rojo
Lingard(Martial) Mata(Rooney) Rashford
After the highs of last Saturday we had to witness another mediocre performance by our boys. There were a few changes to the side that beat Leicester last weekend but our frontline remained the same and should have done better against the Ukrainian outfit. We were too slow when in possession and that’s because we depended heavily on Fellaini who is good at heading/challenging for the ball but is not a ball player. This highlighted the importance of Ander Herrera who moves the ball with certain urgency but I didn’t expect Herrera to play today. Instead, I thought Michael Carrick would get a look in. This game was perfect for him as we badly needed his passing. I don’t think Mourinho is a big fan of Carrick.
Only Fosu-Mensah, Mata and Bailly I can truly say had a very good game. Fosu-Mensah created a great goal-scoring opportunity for Rooney but our captain miss-hit the ball onto Ibra’s head and claimed an assist. Mata was very efficient in possession and his intelligent movement created some chances. Bailly’s recoveries were exceptional. His change of speed is impressive.
Our goalie only had one stop to make. Smalling had absolutely nothing to do as all the running was done by his central-defence partner. Rojo offered very little going forward and in Zorya’s only attempt to attack our left side, our Argentine made Zorya’s winger look like Usain Bolt. He’s very passionate about football but he’s garbage. Lingard wasn’t much better than Rojo, he needs to add consistency to his game.
Rashford struck the bar but ran into a lot of blind alleys during the game. He needs to improve that side of his game. Zlatan scored a goal but didn’t do much more. Pogba tried hard but wasted too much energy trying to get the ball from the back. That was Fellaini’s job, Pogba’s job is to make things happen in the final third.
Anyway, overall I’m a bit disappointed with the performance. I expected better. Zorya defended in numbers and this made it very difficult to penetrate their defence but we have some fine players who shouldn’t find such scenarios difficult. We will be facing teams in the PL who will be happy to get a draw against us and will defend for their lives.
Stoke next. A great example of a team who will come to Old Trafford looking not to concede but totally disinterested in trying to find a goal. Come on United!