Another game at Old Trafford in the Premier League and yet another draw for the home team, a pattern that has become increasingly frustrating for the fans and players as the season has passed by.
The visiting teams have had success at Old Trafford this season, and similar was the case with Everton last night, as they came away with a point in their clash against United as the match finished with a scoreline of 1-1. This result meant further blow to United’s hopes of finishing in the top 4 this season, as it leaves them 4 points behind City, who are in 4th spot and in action later tonight.
The following four observations can be drawn from the match played between the two yesterday:
1. Lukaku looking like a man ready for the exit
Romelu Lukaku has been on a downhill of form ever since he announced he will not be signing an Everton contract this summer, and if the optimistic fans needed any proof regarding it, yesterday’s performance was clear indication of a man completely out of sorts and not in his zone.
Isolated for the entire match up the pitch, Lukaku did not create any major chances of getting a goal, and when the opportunity arrived to get in teammates running in on goal, he didn’t really make the right moves to put them in. To further add to that, he was involved in a few arguments with his teammates over the course of the match, out of which a verbal clash with Ashley Williams stood out as the most evident one.
2. Luke Shaw has still got it
After a harsh week for the young English left-back who was targeted by his manager openly in a press conference, Luke Shaw got the chance to spend a quarter of the match out on the pitch due to an injury sustained by Ashley Young.
The cameo played by Shaw was of high order, as he showed pace, whipped in crosses, and linked up well with Rashford and other teammates, all in efforts to impress Mourinho. The lad certainly did his reputation no harm, and might have enhanced it in the eyes of a man who clearly is not a fan of the player.
— José (@MourinhoMindset) April 4, 2017
3. United need to win the Europa League
The Red Devils have a tough run of fixtures coming up in the following months, and with the position they find themselves in, it might not be a good bet to place their chances of qualifying for the Champions League by finishing in the top four at the end of the season.
This means that the club has to shift its entire focus on winning the Europa League, a very high possibility with no real ace teams involved, in order to be a part of Europe’s most elite club competition – a place where they should belong.
They are currently in the quarter finals of the tournament, and if they manage to put in stellar performances, the trophy will surely be theirs by the end of the term.
4. Eric Bailly is a beast, needs a partner
The African centre-back proved his worth against Everton last night, as he was probably the man of the match for the Red Devils with brilliant countless interceptions, aggressive defending, last minute sliding tackles, and keeping Lukaku in his pocket throughout the 90 minutes.
However, he was let down by some poor defending by his partner Marcos Rojo, who was also to blame for the Everton goal, as the Argentinian lacked physicality and grit needed to help De Gea keep a clean sheet.
The return of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling is an urgent need for Manchester United, and one of them will have to put their ace game forward to support Eric and form an unbreakable pairing at the back for their team.