Manchester United have finally won a match in the Premier League. After a late goal conceded against Everton which meant draw, and a poor 1-1 game against West Brom, the Red Devils are back on the winning track in the league as well, beating Newcastle United 3-1.
Everything started well when Marcus Rashford scored the opener on the half-hour mark, but it did not last so long – Allan Saint-Maximin scored just six minutes later to level the scoreline. Daniel James was there for United to score 12 minutes into the second half, before Bruno Fernandes converted a penalty to make it 3-1 with quarter of an hour left to be played.
It was not an ideal performance from the Red Devils, but here is what we learned from these new three points they have acquired.
Lack Of Energy… Because Of Europa League?
Manchester United have been playing in a tough rhythm almost all season, which is not unique only for them, but it seemed like the team was a bit tired and sluggish at the beginning of the match. It was just three days after that trip to Turin where they played Real Sociedad 4-0 in Europa League round of 32 first leg. Sure, that was a good match, but it still takes its toll. United did not start so well against Newcastle and during the match it always felt as if something was off in the way team functioned.
Too Reliant On Individual Flashes
United did manage to score three goals and get a somewhat comfortable win, but it was not an easy one. Man United once again showed their usual flaws when playing against a team from the bottom of the league. As it was the case against West Brom and Sheffield United, the Devils once more struggled to create chances and most of their attacks were relying on the individual flashes of brilliance. There was once more a lack of a real structure going forwards, which made United predictable on most occasions.
Matic And Fred Show Need For Reinforcements
A part of why United’s performance was predictable also came from deep areas. They are far from the only culprits in that, but it was obvious that Nemanja Matic and Fred are simply not good solutions for United long-term. Both the Serbian and the Brazilian had their problems in possession, displacing numerous passes and making it harder for the team to progress further forward. Also, their position was not always ideal, adding to the point that Man United will need to improve their central midfield in the summer transfer window. If they want to achieve something bigger, that is.
Daniel James Is Taking His Chances
Daniel James has had his problems since arriving at Old Trafford and he has been on the fringes of the team for a while, but recently the Welshman has been getting his chances and he is taking them. His goal against Real Sociedad confirmed a big 4-0 win, but this time, it was his goal that gave the lead against the Magpies. He scored after good shot at the near post to make it 2-1 and that was his third goal in his last three matches for United.
He is slowly taking his chances. It must be said that James is still far from the level necessary of the starting right winger, but it is true he is trying to make Solskjaer think more about giving him more chances. That competition with Mason Greenwood could be also great for United until the end of the season, as it could mean Marcus Rashford will spend more time on the left flank, which is his favourite position.