Luton Town 1-2 Manchester United: Four Things We Learned

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Manchester United defeated Luton Town 2-1 at Kenilworth Road, struggling to close out the game once again, despite their big early lead. Rasmus Hojlund was the star of the match, scoring a brace after finding the net in the first and seventh minute. Yet, that was not good enough for this United team, so they had to make it more difficult, conceding after 14 minutes when Carlton Morris managed to get past Andre Onana. Here is what we learned from this match.

Hojlund Brings The Edge In Front Of The Goal

Rasmus Hojlund continues to shine with two more goals to his name, cementing his status as a regular contributor on the field. Initially, his tenure at Old Trafford may have had a shaky start, but the Manchester United striker has swiftly turned the tables, showcasing an unstoppable knack for finding the back of the net. During the earlier stages of the season, United struggled to find a reliable goal scorer, leaving a void in their attacking lineup. However, with Hojlund’s emergence, that narrative has shifted to a great extent. His consistent performance and goal-scoring prowess have filled the void admirably, offering the team a much-needed edge in front of the goal. The young talent’s impressive displays hint at a promising future for both himself and the club. It’s evident that Hojlund possesses the qualities to remain a pivotal figure in United’s lineup and hopefully things will only continue to get better for him and the club.

United Lack Ability To Kill The Game

We have seen this so many times this season. Ten Hag’s team once again showcased their inconsistency, faltering after securing a two-goal lead. Throughout this campaign, the Red Devils have displayed a frustrating tendency to lose momentum shortly after scoring twice, leading to a shift in favor of their opponents, as observed in the opening 45 minutes against Luton. That was the case again – Hojlund scored a brace inside of the first seven minutes, only for United to concede five minutes later. One cannot help but question the absence of a commanding figure in such instances. The lack of a leader to steady the ship during periods of dominance is evident. Within the United ranks, there seems to be a void where a decisive presence should be, someone to galvanise the team and maintain composure when the team is set to cruise to a win.

Good Substitutions From Ten Hag

The manager displayed a prudent approach against the Hatters, making the wise decision to substitute Casemiro and Harry Maguire at half-time. Both players seemed off their usual form in the first half, displaying signs of inconsistency and unreliability. Even disregarding the yellow cards they received, the substitutions appeared warranted. Jonny Evans and Scott McTominay were brought on and fulfilled their roles admirably. It’s reassuring to have dependable squad players like them ready to step up when needed.

United Closing The Gap In Race For Champions League

With United struggling to get to more comfortable victories in almost all of their wins, it is odd but nice to see the team being second-best in form standings. Only Arsenal have all 15 points won from the last five matches, while United have 13, as many as Man City. WIth Tottenham and Villa winning eight and seven points respectively in the same period, United are closing the gap in the race for Champions League football. They are five points off fourth place and three off fifth place. With the new Champions League system starting from September 2024, even fifth place might be enough for Ten Hag’s side, if England end up as one of the best two nations in UEFA coefficients this season. And they have a good chance to do so.

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