This is not the Manchester United we expected. After just narrowly beating Villarreal in the Champions and ending the run of three losses in the previous four matches, the Red Devils have yet again failed to beat their opponent. This time they drew 1-1 against Everton at Old Trafford, in a match that will only increase the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s position at the club.
Manchester United started the match with Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba on the bench and ultimately failed to beat a team that has had their own shares of struggles at the start of the new campaign. Anthony Martial scored minutes before the half-time to put Man United ahead, but it was Andros Townsend 20 minutes into the second half who scored the equaliser. The hosts had 25 minutes to try and make things happen, but ultimately failed in their quest. Here is what we learned from this disappointing draw at home.
Man United Fail To Convert Chances
It was a surprise to see Ronaldo and Pogba start the match on the bench, but it was refreshing to see United actually create enough chances in the first half. Everton were just minutes away from keeping a clean sheet in the first half, during which Man United should have actually scored more than once. Martial’s opener was very much welcome, but it is a fact United had enough about their game to actually get a bigger lead. It proved to be a problem in the end, as United’s poor decision making in and around the box made sure Everton still had a good result going into the final 30 minutes of the match. Man United had their share of matches this season when they failed to create enough – now that they did, their finishing was not ideal.
Ronaldo Can Be Dropped, But Points Can Too
It makes sense that Cristiano Ronaldo is at an age when he has to get more rest than earlier in his career. The Portuguese will be 37 in five months and Solskjaer’s idea of giving him a breather is not a bad one. But then again, maybe that rest was not supposed to be given to Ronaldo in team’s last match before the international break. Edinson Cavani deserves to also play, especially with the way he changed the game against Villarreal, but Ronaldo is a player that can win matches even when he is not shining – as we have already seen since his arrival. Solskjaer’s idea possibly backfired – we will never know if United would have won if Ronaldo was on the pitch in that first half.
Martial’s Good And Bad News
Solskjaer surprising many with the inclusion of Anthony Martial in the starting lineup and the Frenchman repaid the faith with the goal he scored 43 minutes into the game. It is an important fact this Martial’s performance came from his favourite left wing position, rather than the centre-forward, where he often had to play. This was his first league goal since his brace in early February in a 9-0 rout against Southampton. He did not look in the best form before the opener, but what is even more worrying is that he had to be substituted early. Jadon Sancho came early on in the second half, as Martial was limping. Hopefully, that injury is not too serious.