The first away game of the season for United ended in a 1-1 draw with Juan Mata scoring the goal for United. An injury hit side massively struggled against Sunderland, Cleverley was partnering Fletcher in a poor midfield, and Robin Van Persie returned, lacking fitness. It was really hard viewing for United fans throughout a poor 90 minutes.
Sunderland started much better than United, and controlled the game from the off. United were very sloppy in possession, and misplaced so many passes on the rare time we had the ball. Cleverley and Fletcher were in all honestly terrible. Cleverley didn’t really seemed bothered at all, and didn’t look like he was there to impress. But against the run of play, and totally undeserved, we took the lead through Juan Mata, after some great movement by him, and a great ball in by Valencia left him with a simple tap in. We should have really found ourselves behind but got away with it after a poor 25 minutes.
On 30 minutes, we finally conceded a deserved goal for Sunderland, as Jack Rodwell headed home after some poor marking from the free kick. We started to look unsettled again instantly and couldn’t get into the game at all. To make things worse, we ended the half with another injury, this time Chris Smalling, making our defensive options even more thin on the ground. The whole half was slow and predictable build up, leaving us creating nothing and having no real attacking quality.
The second half started like the first half with Sunderland on top, and they almost made it 2-1 after some terrible defending and some good play by Wickham but Blackett cleared. Its fair to say Blackett looks like the only one taking this chance and has impressed since pre-season.
We played much better in the second half, but still really failed to make a huge impact. The build up was so slow, and we continued to just pass it around the edge of the box. Ashley Young appeared to go back to what we all know he is like, pretty bad, and even went back to his diving self.
Danny Welbeck made an appearance, after much speculation about his future, and added some pace and energy to the team which was massively lacking. Adnan Januzaj also made an appearance in centre midfield. The whole game made hard viewing for United fans as we struggled, and hopefully proved to the board and the manager that signings are desperately needed. With the imminent arrival of Angel Di Maria, some pace will be finally in the side, and hopefully centre backs and centre midfielders follow suit and we make some more signings.
It was a first point for Van Gaal in the premier league and a hard thought, undeserved one at that. Hopefully with the arrival of Di Maria and other signings, we will see a change of formation and go to a more familiar one. On the basis of the past two games though, its going to be a long hard season.
What did you think of the match? Leave your answer in the comment box below!