In what was a must win game for Manchester United, considering the upcoming fixtures, Ole and the lads found a way to bottle it. Far too often under the current regime we have failed to take our chances against lesser opposition only for them to come back and bite us. United were able to create four quality chances in the first half but were unable to pounce, allowing Burnley to grow into the game and arguably take over at Old Trafford, and win their first game at OT since 1962. A disappointing result on the heels of a sobering experience against the Champions-elect on Sunday.
Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 3
- Given few options when naming his team, he picked 10/11 of our best available players and, unfortunately, he was let down by almost all of them. We should have been up 2-0 or 3-0 at halftime.
- It must be said that Burnley were porous in defense, and very loose with the ball in the first 30 minutes, which helped us start on the front foot.
- Once again named Andreas Pereira in the #10 role when he is incapable of playing Premier League football in any capacity. We have a potential rising superstar in Greenwood sat on the bench and Ole continues to ride the Brazilian.
- Clearly did not deliver any sort of convincing team talk or tactical instruction at half-time…we came out flat and without confidence once again.
- There is no movement along the front three and the finishing in the box was abysmal. Isn’t that the coaching aspect that Ole is praised for due to his playing career?
- Continues to play a 4-2-3-1 that looks like a 4-2-4 in possession. There is no link between midfield and attack due to the lack of movement of the front three.
- Brought on Luke Shaw late for Williams? Williams was playing decently well and we needed an attacker, not another defender.
- Sat in his seat 98% of the game like a spectator. Maybe he does his talking in the dressing room? IF that were true, the team would’ve come out differently in the second half.
RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 5
Defended well as he always does, but often painful to watch on the ball. Loose with possession and uses his humble arsenal of skills to try and convince anyone that he is going left. Delivered two decent balls in: deflected cross for the Martial miss and a lofted ball for James to head towards goal. Should’ve been removed for someone like Dalot, who can play higher up more effectively.
CB: Phil Jones – 3
Wasn’t as terrible and clumsy as usual – although he did fall down a few times due to purely trying to run too fast. Made an excellent read on Jay Rodriguez to save a goal but needlessly gave away a corner that led to a goal. Can’t ask much more of Phil Jones at this point.
CB: Harry Maguire – 1
Beaten in the air twice early on and continued his ball-stopping ways. Let Chris Wood walk right by him for the goal – was almost completely switched off and embarrassed. Beaten on a 1-2 for pace and agility by Jay Rodriguez for the second goal and looked like he was in slow motion. Makes you wonder if he is fatigued or struggling with that groin injury. Maybe both. Either way, absolutely shocking performance from the United Captain.
LB: Brandon Williams – 4
Defended well when called upon and showed the will and aggression to get forward we so badly needed. Sadly had few options to pass to after the 30th minute once the front line stopped moving. Tried to get at his teammates on the pitch (like Maguire should have) but it fell on deaf ears. Williams is one of the few out there who deserve to wear the shirt.
CDM: Nemanja Matic – 3
Not great on the ball and looked very slow. Was beaten in the air by Ben Mee for the first goal and never looked like creating any chances. At this point in his career, Matic is incapable of playing 2x per week and it showed. He was overrun.
CDM: Fred – 6
Continues to put together decent performances despite playing full 90’s in almost every game. Wasn’t at his complete best in the second half but in the first half he was everywhere: 56 touches and 44/44 passing accuracy (24 of them forward). Still, like all United players, was unable to find any sort of creative final ball. His job is to break up play and link the ball to a #10…get Bruno Fernandes in and Pogba back.
CAM: Juan Mata – 4
Started on the right side and worked as hard as he can at this point in his career. Squandered a great chance early on that should have put United up – should have used his preferred left peg instead of the right. Dummied a great ball into Martial who wasted the opportunity. Switched to the #10 at half-time but was unable to create anything of note.
CAM: Andreas Pereira – 1
Terrible as usual from the Brazilian, and an absolute disgrace how many minutes he gets in what used to be on of the most desired positions in world football. The #10 role for Manchester United Football Club should never be filled with someone with the quality of Andreas Pereira. Tried too hard to make flicks and tricks, lost possession ten times, 31/39 passing, weak on the ball and takes far too many shots from outside the box that go into row Z. Hauled off at half-time for Mason Greenwood who should be starting every game.
CAM: Daniel James – 2
Needs a rest or some sort of coaching help. Did not deliver a single ball of note from the wing and failed to create anything. Looked like a Championship level winger.
FW: Anthony Martial – 2
If you look up the word “Enigma” in the dictionary you’ll now find the name: Anthony Martial. Capable of producing the extraordinary but also of missing sitters on a consistent basis. The problem is that we now have a 250,000 pound per week player who misses far too many opportunities. Should have equalized at the weekend against Liverpool and should have put us up 1-0 and then 2-0 today. He could have given us the lead and comfort but failed to do either. You have to think that Haaland would have scored both and that our transfer dealings just continue to let us down.
SUB: Mason Greenwood – 6
Tried his best to get us a goal but was unable to break through a resilient Burnley. Almost pulled off a worldie turn and goal but was taken down by the last defender in an arguable yellow to red card call.
SUB: Jesse Lingard
Had zero impact on the game. Predictable.
SUB: Luke Shaw – 5
Absolutely puzzling substitution from Ole. Down 2-0 and you bring off a defender for….a defender. Where is the desire to try and get the three points? Shaw brought some energy but nothing else.
A dark, dark day for Manchester United. Tough to see where we (and Ole) go in the next week weeks. Next up:
TBD vs. Manchester United in the FA Cup on Saturday at 10am EST.