Manchester United finally ended their long winless drought by defeating Swansea 2-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Starting the new year on a high, Louis van Gaal would be hoping for his team to change their fortunes and look forward to a new and goal-filled new year.
While only Gylfi Sigurdsson managed to equalise for the away side, Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney both found their footing and the back of the goal, giving them the much-required boost.
Here is Essentially Sports bringing you the 5 talking points from the game:
1. Manchester United’s defence is paper
All though the offence hasn’t performed all that well either, the main reason for almost all the losses so far in the league can be successfully traced back to a poor defence. And yet again, the team’s back three finds itself in shambles, confused and tattered.
Early on in the season, the team was performing very well, so much so that people took United’s defence for granted. ‘Smalldini’ might remind some of the fans of how much trust they had at the man and their back line. And why not? The defence was organized and had a perfect form, with players knowing their positions well.
But as the season progressed, so did the injuries. The back line was almost annihilated, sparing a couple of first team quality players. This created a huge gap, which opposition teams often made good use of.
All though Luke Shaw won’t come back till the end of the season, Matteo Darmian and a few others have. Even then, they never had the time to settle into their positions. With the lack of proper coordination with the keeper as well as their midfielders, the defence seems to be missing an offside trap, or even a decent back line. The ball is simply played through the gaps provided for free chances at goals.
This game today saw a 3 man central defence with 2 wing backs. Although they did try to move on and about, the chemistry in the team was left wanting. It would not be right to blame LvG for this, and only time and regular play would heal these bruises.
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