Manchester United should consider themselves fortunate they picked up all three points after the Red Devils edged to victory in a gruelling encounter with West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday night.
Several players were at fault for the poor performance, especially in the second half as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side survived a controversial penalty call, before referee David Coote pointed to the spot at the other end only moments later.
Bruno Fernandes forced a fine save from Baggies goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, although he was handed a reprieve by the referee after the former United keeper was adjudged to have strayed well off his line, with Fernandes firing into the top corner with his second attempt.
Marcus Rashford, who has been in such red-hot form this season, was uncharacteristically underwhelming, as he only managed to win seven out of 13 ground duels and missed one big chance, whilst Juan Mata didn’t offer much going forward either, with zero shots on target all game.
But it was Anthony Martial who massively let Solskjaer down with his disappointing display, as he has once again failed to find the back of the net in the Premier League so far this season.
The £54m-rated beast (via Transfermarkt) was rather wasteful leading the line, as he lost possession a staggering 18 times, which was more than Mata and Rashford. He also missed one big chance and delivered just one key pass throughout the game, via SofaScore.
Quite why the Frenchman played the full 90 minutes we’ll probably never understand, especially when you consider the fact that United were clinging on to a one-nil lead in the second half.
Martial took 60 touches of the ball, so he should have been able to spearhead the attack, but this wasn’t the case as the misfiring striker only managed just two shots on target, only to be denied by Johnstone with two excellent saves on both occasions.
He received an average rating of 7/10 for his efforts from 90min, who claimed he ‘should have broken the deadlock with a simple scoring chance early on, but couldn’t fire past Johnstone’ and added he was ‘kept under wraps for the rest of the game,’ whilst Samuel Luckhurst was even more scathing in his assessment, noting he ‘had an early header saved before he squandered a gilt-edged chance soon after’ and accused him of ‘going through the motions at times.’
Paul Scholes recently criticised the 24-year-old following the defeat by Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League for his “non-existent” movement as the Red Devils suffered their second defeat in four days after being humbled by Arsenal, which paints an all-too familiar picture.
Solskjaer should have taken Martial off long beforehand to save him from further embarrassment as he once again failed to make much of an impression.
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