The Missouri Miner

Missouri S&T's Student Newspaper
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EST. 1915

Manchester United Hit Rough Patch

John Destefano


It would make sense that a team that has three of the top ten transfer records in the history of soccer to be one of the top teams in the Premier league, especially when four of the transfers in the top ten aren’t even in the same league as them. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Manchester United who have recently lost seven of their last nine games played. This reached a critical point after a shameful 4-0 defeat against Everton April 21st which prompted the current manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, a former player for the club to apologize to fans attending the game.

So, what is the current problem with Manchester United, and what caused the Everton game to require such a response? To be blunt Manchester United was purely outplayed. The Everton strikers looked to capitalize from a line change by Manchester United, focusing their attack on the left while United had opted to play their central defender as right back, and in the opening minutes Everton’s throw-ins appeared to confuse United to say the least. This confusion allowed for Everton to capitalize and score from one of these throw-ins off a beautiful bicycle kick in the 13’. The United defender went to defend the ball and ended up allowing the goal past him in this instance, not giving the keeper a chance to save it. The next glaring example of the flaws with United was a counter attack goal from Everton in the 28’ from Sigurdsson, who was about ten yards outside the box. Between Sigurdsson and the goalie there were seven United players and only three from Everton. The defender on Sigurdsson was not pressing and none of the other six players shifted to help pressure the ball. In the second half, Everton scored their third goal off their cleared corner kick when Digne, the defender, managed to score again from outside the box, but with the entire United team between him and the defender. Not to draw from the fact that it was a good shot, but it raises questions about what the rest of the United team were doing that allowed for this shot to go in. With the final goal from Everton coming from a counter attack in the 64’ it was the straw that broke the camels back for the United side.

Now while the prominent flaws may appear to have been on the defense this game, the offense is not exonerated from this poor performance. Possession was about 50-50 for the game with similar passing accuracy between the teams as well. The big difference between the teams this game was that Everton had eight shots on target while Manchester only had seven shots overall, and only one of them being on target. Needless to say, this is a game that Manchester United are looking forward to moving on but with the season coming to a close there must be something done in the summer training session and transfer window to warrant such large spending from the club.


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