Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof faltered yet again as Manchester United were held by West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Manchester United faced a massive blow in their title hopes following a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Sunday. It was a disappointing result for the visitors, who keep drifting away from league leaders Manchester City in the table.
It was a frustrating game for the Red Devils as well as they struggled to create too many openings against Sam Allardyce’s deep-defensive line. The two central defenders in Semi Ajayi and Kyle Bartley, in particular, were in inspiring form, though the former was involved in a controversial decision when he fouled Harry Maguire inside the penalty area.
West Brom will be disappointed to have failed to convert a host of clear-cut opportunities, especially M’Baye Diagne, although the former Galatasaray man did score the opener in the first half. It was cancelled out by Bruno Fernandes’ strike just before half-time, prompting Allardyce to adopt a more defensive approach during the second half.
As such, the Baggies defended deep, frustrating the Manchester United attackers to hold on to the point. While the draw will not greatly help their cause, it could certainly derail United’s hopes of mounting a title challenge, especially with their cross-town rivals now extending their lead at the top to seven points with a game in hand.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at the Manchester United players in their disappointing defeat to West Brom this weekend.
David de Gea: 8/10
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) February 14, 2021
David de Gea was actually one of the best performers for Manchester United in goal. The Spaniard was always alert to the danger, notably making an excellent double save to deny Diagne from scoring his second and ensuring the victory for West Brom late in the game. A top-quality performance from a top-quality ‘keeper, who was repeatedly let down by the defensive support around him.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 6.5/10
Aaron Wan-Bissaka had a decent game on the far side. He didn’t have too many problems dealing with the threat of Matheus Pereira out wide, although he could have done a little bit better on one occasion. His offensive support, on the other hand, was decent as well but his deliveries lacked accuracy, as usual.
Victor Lindelof: 4/10
Victor Lindelof was culpable for conceding the first goal as he was completely outmuscled by Diagne. One could expect much better discipline from a defender playing at the top level. Always found it difficult to impose his dominance on the proceedings and certainly isn’t good enough to remain Man United’s top choice centre-back next season.
Harry Maguire: 4/10
It was yet another disastrous showing by the Manchester United captain who did anything but lead his team by example. He got mauled by Diagne on many occasions, notably making a late defensive error that could have cost United the game. Absolutely poor, yet again.
Luke Shaw: 7/10
Luke Shaw was much more effective going forward than Wan-Bissaka on the opposite flank, which is hardly a surprise. The left-back also registered the assist for Fernandes’ key equaliser just before half-time. A decent performance by the former Southampton man, who couldn’t have done much to aid the two centre-backs.
Luke Shaw has registered 5 assists in the PL this season, the most he’s ever registered in a league season.
Fantastic attacking output this season. 🎯 pic.twitter.com/sXRZRfdVJW
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 14, 2021
Scott McTominay: 6/10
Scott McTominay struggled to impose his presence in central midfield, especially in the first half. The youngster looked much more composed in possession after the restart, but it wasn’t enough to help Manchester United break apart the strong West Brom backline that remained strong till the very end.
Manchester United were clearly missing the creativity of Paul Pogba in this game, as the presence of McTominay and Fred didn’t provide many ideas going forward. The Brazilian, in fact, had a difficult time getting the better of his West Brom counterparts and was replaced by Donny van de Beek late in the game.
Marcus Rashford: 6/10
In a game that desperately needed some creative output, Marcus Rashford barely produced any inspiration from the wider position. His technique was brilliant as ever, but the Englishman was smartly defended by the opposition. It translated to a poor overall performance from the Man United superstar.
Bruno Fernandes: 6.5/10
Bruno Fernandes made full use of his opportunity to score the equaliser just before half-time. Unfortunately, that was the only real contribution from the Portuguese international, who had his problems influencing the game in the final third. None of his balls forward into the box troubled the West Brom defenders, as the Red Devils dropped two points yet again.
Anthony Martial: 5/10
Anthony Martial was perhaps the most ineffective Manchester United forward in this game. The Frenchman, who was operating as a winger had very little answers to the opposition’s deep defensive line and was eventually subbed off midway through the second half. Perhaps better suited in a more central role.
United have obvious defensive issues, but I'm more worried about the attack right now. Martial-Rashford-Greenwood trio was electric last season, but not firing at all now.
Could be fatigue, but whatever the reason, Solskjaer must address it quick. Costing too many points. #mufc
— Dominic Booth (@DomBooth19) February 14, 2021
Edinson Cavani: 5/10
Edinson Cavani spearheaded the Man United attack hoping to put his positional sense and physicality to good effect. Unfortunately for the visitors, he was bested by the defensive duo of Bartley and Ajayi, as the Uruguayan was barely involved in the game. He completed the game with just 21 touches on the ball, which is quite unacceptable even for a striker.
Mason Greenwood: 6.5/10
Mason Greenwood replaced Martial in the 66th minute, hoping to add some energy and enthusiasm in the United attack. He was certainly more dangerous than the Frenchman but none of his attacking endeavours turned out to be useful for his side.
Donny van de Beek: N/A
A late replacement for the ineffective Fred. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.