Manchester United’s win versus Queens Park Rangers last week, dubbed as the Red Devils’ “first match of the season”, was met in spectacular fashion. Despite the endless “calm down, it was only QPR” speak, supporters were in full flow writes Tomos Knox.
However, Manchester United’s turnaround ground to a halt, as their star-studded side collapsed from a seemingly impossible position against Leicester City.
At half time, the score was 2-1 to the Reds, and deservedly so. Their weak defence erred on countless occasions, but confidence reigned supreme as Robin van Persie and Angel di Maria netted within the first twenty minutes, the latter’s strike cancelling Leicester forward Leonardo Ulloa’s 17th minute goal. However, complacency also played a pivotal part in this match, as Manchester United threw away a two goal cushion.
After Ander Herrera fired past Kasper Schmeichel to make it 3-1 in the 57th minute, the Red Devils completely switched off. Blinded by their advantageous two-goal cushion, they proceeded to concede four goals.
It was a truly shameful lead to throw away, and recognising this, Louis van Gaal was very blunt in his description of the second half; “We have to look to ourselves, because we made such big errors as a team”
Lacking depth in a weak and unbalanced defence, the Manchester United manager was clearly emphasising an attacking style of play. With Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera starting in the midfield, Daley Blind was the only man capable of defending United’s beleaguered back four.
Northern Irish centre-back Jonny Evans was injured and replaced by Chris Smalling in the 30th minute. And with his departure, uncertaincy was placed into the hands of the defence, uncertaincy which ultimately resulted in twenty year old centre back Tyler Blackett being sent from the pitch.
Van Gaal has invested, but in the wrong players. While the additions of Angel Di Maria and Daley Blind were excellent signings, Radamel Falcao’s loan must be questioned. What Manchester United needed was a defender, not another striker.
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