Manchester United, desperate for a win in the Premier League tonight to gain on the top four, dropped points again, giving the other sides in the league a massive relieve after poor performances across the board. However, United were garbage all game, without any other adjectives to describe. Jose Mourinho’s team selection was abject, not selecting the two best players from United’s previous match in Anthony Martial and Bastian Schweinsteiger. His substitutions were equally diabolical, with Wayne Rooney as the catalyst to reverse the match and Juan Mata on for United’s most gifted player on the ball, Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Combine these facts with United’s lack of passion and urgency for the first 70 minutes of the game, and the rest of the truths become obvious. With the chance to go two points from fourth, United’s psychological naivety allowed the Red Devils to bottle the match against a side whose main forward couldn’t even get into Everton’s 25-man squad in August. Granted, the referee failed to send that player off when he should’ve received about two red cards by the end of the match, but considering United’s strategy for the last ten minutes was to blatantly dive in the box and surround the referee when penalties were not rewarded is ridiculous. Manchester United has played this side four times and won once this season- they had 12 players in their squad at the beginning of the season, but United still has not figured out how to beat them.
Hull City looked to defend in deep, compact shapes, breaking on the counter, which worked well in early stages, stifling United’s attack and limiting Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s ability to turn with the ball in his possession. However, United looked likely to find a breakthrough from the early stages in the match.
Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba used a beautiful combination to find a weak-footed shot for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but he miscued it and made the strike incredibly easy for Eldin Jakupovic.
Pogba had a key chance to score in the 42nd minute after being put through superbly by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but he fluffed his lines spectacularly, making the effort unbelievably easy for the goalkeeper to save and that represented the best chance of the first half.
For the second half, the lethargic-looking Michael Carrick was immediately replaced by Wayne Rooney. Soon after, Ibrahimovic was offered a guilt-edged chance from a beautiful Paul Pogba pass over the top, and he fluffed his lines as well. Phil Jones, injured, made way for Chris Smalling. Another clear chance was created for Marcus Rashford, by the same Pogba pass, but he also fluffed his lines.
A gorgeous ball from Ander Herrera allowed Antonio Valencia to cross for Marcus Rashford, who set up clear opportunities for Wayne Rooney and Ibrahimovic, who fluffed their lines, much to the common theme of the match.
Then, Jakupovic produced the save of the season from Juan Mata, denying him from literally two yards. I have nothing else to say on the matter, save for Herrera’s incredible involvement in the playmaking once again.
Hull City hit the post in the 86th minute on the counter, as Lazar Markovic failed to score the goal. United, looking for something to score from, but nothing came and another draw seemed inevitable for the Red Devils, who desperately needed a win.
Pogba smashed an incredible effort towards the top corner, and Jakupovic produced another excellent save to deny the Frenchman.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Jones (Smalling 55′), Rojo, Blind; Carrick (Rooney 45′), Herrera; Mkhitaryan (Mata 62′), Pogba, Rashford; Ibrahimovic
Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Martial, Lingard, Young
Bookings: Wayne Rooney 84′