Three talking points from Manchester United 1-3 Crystal Palace

Manchester United fell to an embarrassing 3-1 defeat against Crystal Palace yesterday evening.

The Reds put in a lackluster performance, utterly devoid of quality, and completely disorganised. Such a performance is unacceptable given the quality of players United possess, and Ole Gunner Solskjaer will be looking to bounce back as quickly as possible.

Here are the talking points from the loss.

Lopsided Reds 

To say that Manchester United looked disorganised would be a massive understatement. There was very little off the ball movement, the players took too many touches before playing relatively simple passes, and most of the team gravitated towards the left side of the pitch, crowding the area and creating an asymmetric, lopsided attack which Palace fended off easily.

There was very little penetration, with  United relying on speculative efforts to register shots on target. Scott Mctominay and Paul Pogba did not function well as a double pivot and the only positive on the night for the Red Devils was Donny van De Beek‘s debut goal.

The Dutchman came off the bench and you could often see him pointing at spaces he wanted to exploit, but the rest of the team just couldn’t keep up. His elevated football IQ was evident but the team around him looked lost.

Speaking after the game Donny said: “That was not good enough today. Last week in training, it looked really good. There was lots of quality and we played fast but today we played too slowly.”

“First match for the club, a day you want to win. It doesn’t matter how, you want to win and I’m really disappointed that we lost 3-1 at home, that’s really bad.”

“I think against an opponent like Crystal Palace you need to speed up the game to create something. That was not good enough.”

Lindelof on Ice 

Victor Lindelof might be dubbed the Iceman but yesterday evening he was on skates throughout. The Palace players seemed to actively seek him out as United’s weak link, and he didn’t disappoint them.

It’s often difficult to pick out the worst performer in a loss like this, but Lindelof made sure we could sit up and take notice with just how terrible he was.

He didn’t do enough to stop Schlupp from setting up Palace’s opener, conceded a penalty, and then got absolutely steamrolled by Wilfried Zaha as the Ivorian spun him around before firing past an immobile De Gea.

This is the latest in a string of suspicious performances from the Swede, and it remains to be seen if he can turn his fortunes around and if Solskjaer will stick with him throughout.

Reinforcements required

The United performance was made harder to swallow for fans because of the lack of reinforcements brought in by the club, coupled with the fact that the players’ names being touted as possible candidates for a transfer put in great performances.

Jadon Sancho notched up his second assist in two games this season for Borussia Dortmund and Alex Telles was superb against Sporting Braga, scoring twice from the spot and setting up one more.

In stark contrast, United’s attack looked toothless, underlining the necessity for quality reinforcements.

One could argue that the recruits would be walking into an already dysfunctional system and might not be able to alter United’s fortunes but given the impact Fernandes had last season, fans can only hope new signings follow a similar pattern.

 

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