Manchester United have not started the new season the way they imagined! The Red Devils lost on the opening day of their campaign at Old Trafford, as Crystal Palace emphatically beat them 3-1. Andros Townsend scored the opener just seven minutes into the game, making this a really uncomfortable affair for the hosts. It was a beatiful goal which put the Eagles ahead, before Wilfried Zaha made it 2-0 from a penalty. Then it was Donny van de Beek who scored on his debut with ten minutes to go, but instead of United pushing for an equaliser, we have only seen Zaha score his second to make it 3-1 with five minutes before the injury time.
And here is what we learned from our first loss of the campaign.
Solskjaer’s Changes Raise Eyebrows
It was clear as daz that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did not put out the strongest starting XI for the season opener. Timothy Fosu-Mensah was on the pitch whilst Aaron Wan-Bissaka was benched, with the same situation between Daniel James and Mason Greenwood at right wing. Also, Scott McTominay’s presence in the centre of the park was there to further prove what Solskjaer was probably trying to do – showing Ed Woodward and his associates that Manchester United do not have a good enough team, without much needed depth and that the club failed him this summer by bringing in a sole signing.
Right Wing Shows The Same Problems
Daniel James started the match at right wing, Solskjaer giving the young Welshman his chance to show his worth and maybe even start the campaign in a way he started the last one. But that was not the case. James still had the same issues in this game, He was unable the get past his man, to create anything for others or himself and ultimately this was a nice showing of Manchester United really needing that right winger. Whether the club will go out and spend handsomely on Jadon Sancho is a different subject, but upgrades really are necessary. And this we also knew last season, too.
Victor Lindelof did not have a great time tonight. In fact, he started the new season the way he ended the last one. He was the one who gave away the penalty from which Zaha scored, but he was also the culprit for the opener, when he failed to position himself properly and cut out the cross before the goal happened. There were some of his usual mistakes, when he made those around him more insecure, including that time he put David de Gea under pressure with a poor header back to the Spaniard. That is just a nice reminder that centre-back is yet another position this club need to improve.
Man United In Bad Mood Ahead Of Big Clashes
We spoke before the match about the importance of starting the season well and getting important morale boost ahead of other matches, but now the poor start will threaten to become even worse. Before we know it, United will face Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Arsenal all next month, but only with Brighton and Newcastle before or in between. These matches could prove even tougher than they already are, especially if this grim atmosphere around the club continues.