Manchester United are back on their winning ways following a shocking Champions League defeat in Denmark earlier this week. Erik Ten Hag’s team managed to bounce back, beating Luton Town 1-0, thanks to a Victor Lindelof goal just before the hour mark. It was not a great game from the Red Devils, but they did manage to get the three much-needed points ahead of the international break.
Lindelof Repays Ten Hag With A Goal
Ahead of the match, we knew that Jonny Evans was not going to feature alongside Harry Maguire in the back four, but many have expected Raphael Varane to get the nod and partner up with him. Not Ten Hag. The Dutch manager opted for Victor Lindelof and the Swede delivered. Not only United got a clean sheet, which was somewhat expected against Luton, but he also scored after 59 minutes, with a proper strike following a tumble in the opposition’s penalty area. It was almost a goal that showed the front line of the team how it’s done. It will be interesting to see how much this performance from Lindelof could keep Varane out of the spotlight later this month.
United’s Attack Keeps Struggling
This was yet another match in which United’s attackers struggled to convert their chances. Sure, they did score three against Copenhagen, but this Premier League season has been really rough on United’s attackers. Rasmus Hojlund had two big opportunities that he squandered and he remained goalless in this competition, despite his brace in the Champions League just days before. Marcus Rashford started on the right wing to accomodate Alejandro Garnacho’s place on the left, but once again, such a decision backfired. Rashford is uncomfortable on the right and with him already having a tough season, it is even worse for his confidence to try to rebuild in a position he clearly is not enjoying. While we are mentioning Garnacho, his performance could even be described as the best of all four attackers, but still not good enough to warrant something more than a few key passes.
Team Has To Do More In Possession
Man United keep struggling in the matches where they are supposed to control the game with long possession-based attacks, against teams that like to sit deeper. They had 65 per cent of possession in this match and created a total of 15 shots. But only four of them were on target and United’s attacks often felt disjointed and as if the team was unsure of how exactly to get themselves into those opportunities. A clearer manager’s stamp on the style of team’s play is necessary.
Devils Get Closer To Top Four
As much as United have been deservedly criticised, their situation in the Premier League is not that bad. Despite the fact they lost five matches already in the first third of the campaign, not many would have expected them to sit in sixth place, five points behind the Champions League spots. United will want to get into a proper fight for the top four finish, but things will have to improve. The likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham seem much more reliable to win points regularly. United have done so in the last five matches, winning four, but this season will be a marathon.