Well, it had to end, didn’t it?
Manchester United’s perfect away record under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was ended by a determined Arsenal side on Sunday night. A night when the wind blew viciously across the country, United missed a flurry of chances and went down despite arguably being the better team.
Arsenal were clinical enough in the little chances they had to topple over the Red Devils, while also regaining momentum prior to their UEFA Europa League encounter on Thursday. While United attacked with vigour and intensity, they missed that lethal spark. Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford missed someone behind them, basically a runner to compliment their moves.
That runner, incidentally, happens to be Jesse Lingard, rated at £36m by Transfermarkt these days. Infamous for his antics at the Emirates Stadium, Lingard’s absence hit United hard on Sunday. The Red Devils created 12 chances in the game while having four shots on target (stats via Fotmob). Bernd Leno was sharp to thwart danger, but Lukaku and Rashford both fell victims of being pressurized to finish chances.
With Paul Pogba operating deeper than usual, United needed someone to run into the box as Lingard does. As he’s done in recent games against the Gunners, he caused defensive malfunctions by getting into the right place at the right time.
Solskjaer missed that Lingard’s unpredictability and his ability to finish off moves on Sunday. With games coming thick and fast, this disappointing loss proves how Ole needs Lingard and company back soon to compete at the top and regain their winning streak soon.
Manchester United fans, do you feel the Red Devils missed Lingard at the Emirates? Join the discussion by commenting below…