Louis van Gaal’s second game in charge at Manchester United yield a disappointing result once again. Like last week the team was plagued with injury, forcing van Gaal into changes. The performance was very poor, a weak midfield duo of Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley seen us struggle for control in the middle of the park. Personally I felt Fletcher was our worst player, simple passes were misplaced too many times. A defence struck with injuries was worsened by an injury to Chris Smalling, which was not surprising giving his record. Micheal Keane came on to make his PL debut and looked nervous throughout. Meanwhile Tyler Blackett and Phil Jones were the stand out performers. We had our strongest attacking trio in Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney & Robin van Persie yet they were all poor. There was no creative spark, the tempo was slow and chances were rare. Our injuries really highlighted the lack of depth our squad has, with Fletcher being taken off Adnan Januzaj partnered Cleverley in midfield.
United took the lead through Juan Mata after a perfect low cross from Antonio Valencia the Spaniard had a tap in. Later in the first half Sunderland equalized through Jack Rodwell. awful marking from the corner gave him a free header. Chances were at a premium in the second half, United had a penalty claim when van Persie was taken down in the box but it wasn’t given. As Sunderland failed to clear Ashley Young went down under an apparent challenge from Wes Brown, he was subsequently booked for diving.
The game disappointingly ended even but it’s not all gloom and doom among Manchester United fans. With 7 first team players injured, all 3 of our new signings unavailable and the impending arrival of Angel di Maria from Real Madrid many United fans are remaining positive. Louis van Gaal stated the first few months would be difficult plus a potential fully fit starting 11 is much stronger with the likes of Di Maria, Rojo, Evans, Shaw and Carrick still to return.
United’s next Premier League game is against Burnley where it is hoped that Di Maria and Rojo will make their debuts, meanwhile United face MK Dons in the Capital One cup.