When Jose Mourinho succeeded Louis van Gaal as Manchester United’s manager prior to the start of this season and signed the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the return of the glory days of the Ferguson era seemed imminent. Seven months down the line, United’s 6th position in the league tells a different story than the one that most of the pundits had predicted at the start of the season. Poor finishing, bad luck and extraordinary keeping from opposition goal-keepers have ensured that United are doing what they did last season – dropping points against small teams. Manchester United have drawn 9 matches in the league this season, hardly any of which could be counted as ‘saving grace’. Here’s a look at the matches, which if United would have won, sent them right at the top of the table, giving a tough challenge to current leaders Chelsea:
Manchester United vs Arsenal 1-1, 19th November, 2016:
Coming in to this match, Mourinho’s men were without a win at Old Trafford in the English Premier League in eight weeks, but must have had a sense of relief considering the fact that Arsenal hadn’t won at the Theatre of Dreams since 2006. After a dull and goal-less first half, Manchester United injected some liveliness in to the game which resulted in Juan Mata breaking the deadlock in the 68th minute with a cool finish after a neat pass by Ander Herrera. Like a typical Jose Mourinho team, United looked on course to defend their lead with some solid defensive play. However, Alex Oxalade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud, who were brought on as subs, combined to level the game, with Giroud sending a bullet header past David De Gea in the 89th minute. United had no one but themselves to blame for sharing the honors in the game as Marcos Rojo and Mata missed chances alongwith several others.