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Manchester United: Victor Lindelof endured first half shocker in Europe

Manchester United’s early form this season has hardly been ideal. It’s a puzzling situation for their Norwegian tactician, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

This summer, the Red Devils made three landmark acquisitions in Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho.

However, while the last two names watched on from the sidelines, Ronaldo was virtually a lone figure as well but his frustration was shown on the field of play, rather than from the comfort of a seat.

The Portuguese threw his arms about and took issue with his teammates for failing to make attacking runs throughout the opening half.

But his anger surely would have been directed at the defence too. After all, as Solskjaer’s men went into the half time break 2-0 down to Atalanta on Wednesday evening, it marked what was initially a horrible night.

Is Lindelof good enough for Man Utd?

No way!

No way!

Of course!

Of course!

At the time of writing (20.55 – 20th Nov), they are bottom of their European group and their defensive record is only getting worse.

According to Opta, United have failed to keep a clean sheet in 12 consecutive matches at Old Trafford. That happens to be their longest run since February 1964 – a mere 57 years.

That’s a rather bizarre statistic when you consider they have £80m Harry Maguire at the back. The Englishman has struggled with injury in recent weeks and his lack of sharpness shone through this evening in a woeful first half at the back.

He tried stepping up and setting an offside trap as the visitors scored their first goal. He wasn’t on the same wavelength as his fellow defenders and ultimately caused a vacant space for Mario Pasalic to score.

Maguire was then caught out for the second strike too with Merih Demiral beating him to the ball at a corner and finding the net with an excellent header.

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Yet, he wasn’t the only culprit in a diabolical first half for United on Wednesday. The England international’s centre-back colleague in Victor Lindelof was also hopeless.

The Swede has never covered himself in too much glory since joining Man United and his display in the opening 45 minutes in midweek demonstrated why they brought Varane to the club over the summer.

He was caught in no man’s land down the left-hand side for the opening goal and was a poor presence from a physical point of view.

               

Lindelof contested just one defensive duel in the first 45 minutes but didn’t even win that as he lost 100% of the battles he competed in before the interval. Considering how under pressure they found themselves, not completing a single tackle or interception is an extremely poor record.

The defender was also successful with just 50% of his long balls forward.

If Solskjaer is going to have any hope of holding onto his job, his team will desperately need to improve. At the moment, they look like a side destined to head out of Europe’s major competition.

AND in other news, Report reveals exciting Man Utd manager update that’ll leave some fans buzzing…

Article title: Manchester United: Victor Lindelof endured first half shocker in Europe

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