Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the Premier League title race isn’t over yet after his side beat Newcastle 3-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday.
It wasn’t pretty, but the results are all that matter for the Red Devils at this stage of the season after they had dropped points in all bar one of their previous five top-flight fixtures.
The Red Devils have yet to taste defeat in any of their past six games but after conceding in the first half courtesy of a goal from Allan Saint-Maximin, it wasn’t all plain sailing for Solskjaer’s side, as they struggled defensively at times after a sluggish start.
United were solid if unspectacular as they were quickly pegged back when Harry Maguire’s failed clearance fell into the path of Saint-Maximin, who lashed a shot into the back of the net to level the score.
In defence, however, no United player was arguably worse than Victor Lindelof. It was Maguire who was partly at fault for the equaliser but at least the club captain actually made a tackle during the game.
Lindelof struggled to get a foothold in the game and did little to justify his selection ahead of the likes of Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe, the former having played a key part in Thursday’s 4-0 Europa League win over Real Sociedad.
The 26-year-old didn’t produce a single interception or tackle, failing to offer much protection for first-choice stopper David de Gea. He also only made three clearances (one fewer than Maguire) and was also dribbled past once, to sum up his frustrations on the night.
Despite receiving much criticism for his momentary lapse of concentration, Maguire still put in much more of a defensive shift. He attempted more tackles than Lindelof and also blocked more shots as well.
Considering Bailly’s contributions at the back against Real Sociedad, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Ivory Coast international restored to the starting XI at Lindelof’s expense.
After all, the Swede was not impressive at all against Newcastle and Solskjaer should seriously consider dropping him ahead of the return Europa League fixture on Thursday.