Manchester United 1-2 Fulham: Four Things We Learned

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Manchester United were top of the league based on form, they were in a strong position to try and get closer to Champions League position, but a poor performance at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon has seen them lose 2-1 to Fulham, in a match many fans will want to forget.

Calvin Bassey scored the opener for the Cottagers after 65 minutes, with Harry Maguire salvaging an equaliser in the 89th minute. But that was not enough for United, who once again managed to concede soon after scoring, with Alex Iwobi sealing the victory for Marco Silva’s side. Here is what we learned from United’s 10th league loss this season.

United Miss Hojlund Badly

Just a couple of months ago, there were serious questions being raised about Rasmus Hojlund’s lack of goals and whether the young Dane will be the striker this club needs him to become. After two months of great form and a goalscoring run, in the first match in his absence, Man United missed him badly and it was painfully obvious. Marcus Rashford had to start up front, but he was invisible throughout. He made a total of 27 touches of the ball, lacking the service from teammates, but also lacking ability in the position that clearly does not suit him. There were large periods of play at Old Trafford where United struggled to create any kind of danger for Fulham’s defence.

The Devils Regressed To The Mean

Even during their match-winning run in the previous month or so, there were plenty of occasions where we were pointing out the fact United are winning matches despite all of their problems, not because they are doing so great. They often allow way too many shots to their opposition, and that was the case again. Fulham had 17 shots at Old Trafford, something that would a decade or more ago be seen as impossible. United started regressing to the mean, meaning that just one game where they are unable to score more goals was not enough for them to get a result. It is because defensively things were never that great and Fulham have made that obvious now.

Onana Does Well Again

As Manchester United struggled to find their footing, Fulham consistently pressed forward, creating multiple scoring opportunities against the home team. However, most of Fulham’s attempts were blocked by Andre Onana who remained steadfast despite conceding a goal to Bassey and a late strike by Iwobi. Without Onana’s solid performance, Fulham might have capitalized on more chances, potentially scoring additional goals. In this loss, blame falls not on the goalkeeper which is good news for the Cameroon international, but it will not make a big difference to the disappointed Man United fans.

Ten Hag Is In A Pickle

This is a tough situation Erik Ten Hag is in now. The Dutch manager has been seriously unlucky with all the numerous injuries his team has had throughout the campaign, but ultimately, his team looks devoid of any real plan on the pitch. Man United way too often look like a side that does not know what to do, the patterns of play are lacking and they become way too predictable way too easily. That is a coaching problem and not the personnel he has at disposal. There are not many ways Ten Hag can salvage this season, so his team need to step it up and fast.

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