Manchester United have gone to Carrow Road to face Norwich City following finishing top of their Champions League group. It was expected that a well rested side will do much better on Saturday, but Man United managed to just about escape with a 1-0 win, following Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal from the penalty some 15 minutes before the final whistle.
It was not a great performance from the Red Devils, who had their starting XI completely miss the Young Boys match. Ralf Rangnick’s decision to rest the starters was a good one, but the players still failed to impress at Carrow Road. Here is what we learned from this match.
Man United Struggle Throughout
This was not a great performance from Man United. After the Crystal Palace match last weekend, the praise was there for this team and deservedly so, but this time it was different. Man United were struggling throughout, playing sluggishly and without the much needed intensity. Rangnick loves his sides to be energetic and aggressive, but all of that was missing yesterday.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winner from the spot, but he was also amongst the players who did not perform too well. He was frustrated for most of the match, while others followed that suit.
Rashford And Fernandes Far From Their Level
And those other players following the suit were Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes especially. The two of them were far from their best performance. Both Rashford and Fernandes failed to control their possessions properly, all too often losing the ball. Rashford did well against Palace to press the opponents and inject the energy into the team, but this time, he was too often giving away the ball in promising areas. He has been given a run in the league that has not produced that match and it seems that the Englishman still needs time to find his form following shoulder injury. Fernandes, on the other hand, has been out of form for a while now. The Portuguese is still getting used to the new system under Rangnick, but his mistakes on Saturday were not the systematic ones, but rather individual. According to Sofascore, Bruno lost possession on 26 occasions with a pass accuracy of mere 67 per cent.
De Gea Keeps Collecting Clean Sheets
When Ralf Rangnick took over, during his press conference he noted that Man United have conceded 24 goals in 14 Premier League matches, with a goal difference that equalled zero. And that was a statistical way to saying a simple thing – we are conceding way too many goals for a team that wants to achieve great things. So that is why it was good to see Man United keep their second consecutive clean sheet in the league, following the hectic 3-2 win against Arsenal. David de Gea was good in goal once more, getting five saves in the process. The Spaniard has now gone two games without conceding, before not getting a single clean sheet in the league prior to Rangnick’s arrival. There are still many things to improve in this team, but results will be much easier to come by if this side manages to keep goals conceded at a very low level.