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October Review: Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, David De Gea and Marcus Rashford for POTM?

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Manchester United played five matches in October and it was not a great month for the club or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. United started the month with a 1-1 draw with Everton at Old Trafford, which then made way for an international break. After that, United lost 4-2 to Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, ending their unbeaten away run in the Premier League. Solskjaer’s side returned to winning ways beating Atalanta 3-2 at Old Trafford in the UEFA Champions League, coming from 2-0 down. A 5-0 defeat to Liverpool at Old Trafford in the Premier League followed, adding pressure to Solskjaer before his side beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0.

October Statistics: A month of pressure for Solskjaer which ended more positively than it begun.

Five matches played; two wins one draw and two defeats. Four Premier League points won out of 12, and three points won in the UEFA Champions League, which put United at the summit of the group table and in with a good chance of getting out of the group. A total of nine goals were scored for United in October; Marcus Rashford scored three goals, Cristiano Ronaldo scored two and Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood, Harry Maguire and Anthony Martial scored one each. Bruno Fernandes got five assists whilst Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Ronaldo and Luke Shaw all got one assist each.

2 October – Manchester United 1-1 Everton – Premier League

Goals: Anthony Martial 43′; Andros Townsend 65′

Assists: Bruno Fernandes 43′; Abdoulaye Doucoure 65′

Manchester United drew 1-1 with Everton in the Premier League at Old Trafford. Anthony Martial opened the scoring in the 43rd minute of the match, scoring his first goal for the club this season, assisted by Bruno Fernandes. United should have perhaps scored more than one goal in the first half, seeking more in the second half. Andros Townsend equalised for the Toffees, after Fred lost the ball with Abdoulaye Doucoure equalising before Yerry Mina scored again five minutes from time, which was ruled offside. United needed to win this match and will go into the international break frustrated.

16 October – Leicester City 4-2 Manchester United – Premier League

Goals: Youri Tielemans 31′, Çaglar Söyüncü 78′, Jamie Vardy 83′, Patson Daka 90+1′; Mason Greenwood 19′, Marcus Rashford 82′

Assists: Kelechi Iheanacho 31′, Ayoze Pérez 78′, 83′, You Tielemans 90+1′; Bruno Fernandes 19′, Victor Lindelof 82′

Manchester United were beaten 4-2 by Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. It was another big defeat for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side at the stadium, losing last season in the FA Cup. United unbeaten away run was now over. Mason Greenwood opened the scoring in the 19th minute of the match but Youri Tielemans equalised in the 31st minute. Leicester then found a second goal, scored by Çaglar Söyüncü in the 78th minute before Marcus Rashford levelled in the 82nd minute for United. Jamie Vardy put Leicester ahead again a minute later before Patson Daka completed the rout in the first minute of added time.

20 October – Manchester United 3-2 Atalanta – UEFA Champions League

Goals: Marcus Rashford 53′, Harry Maguire 75′, Cristiano Ronaldo 81′; Mario Pašalić 15′, Merit Demiral 29′

Assists: Bruno Fernandes 53′, 75′, Luke Shaw 81′; Davide Zappacosta 15′, Teun Koopmeiners 29′

Manchester United beat Atalanta 3-2 in the UEFA Champions League. At half time, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were 2-0 down after Mario Pašalić and Merih Demiral scored in the first half. United seemed dejected, devoid of confidence, inspiration and motivation. Something must have been said during the break as eight minutes in, Marcus Rashford got a goal back with Harry Maguire equalising in the 75th minute and none other than Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the winner in the 81st minute of the match. It was a poor first half, the second half was better but winning this match from a losing position means the world.

24 October – Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool – Premier League

Goals: Naby Keita 5′, Diogo Jota 13′, Mohamed Salah 38′, 45+5′, 50′

Assists: Mohamed Salah 5′, Trent Alexander-Arnold 13′, Naby Keita 38′, Diogo Jota 45+5′, Jordan Henderson 50′

Manchester United were beaten 5-0 by Liverpool at Old Trafford in the Premier League. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were toothless, lacked any kind of ability to play this game and will be under so much pressure, which will either make or break them. Mohamed Salah scored a hat-trick in the game, scoring in the 38th minute, five minutes into added time and one against five minutes into the second half. Naby Keita opened the scoring and was stretched off after Paul Pogba was sent off the the foul. Diogo Jota scored the other goal in the game that saw Liverpool run riot at the Theatre of Dreams.

30 October – Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 Manchester United – Premier League

Goals: Cristiano Ronaldo 39′, Edinson Cavani 64′, Marcus Rashford 86′

Assists: Bruno Fernandes 39′, Cristiano Ronaldo 64′, Nemanja Matic 86’

Manchester United beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 in the Premier League. It was a good comeback for United after their humiliation against Liverpool last week. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 39th minute of the match, assisted by Bruno Fernandes. United doubled their lead through Edinson Cavani in the 64th minute of the match, assisted by Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford scored the third goal of the match in the 86th minute, assisted by Nemanja Matic. United face Atalanta on Tuesday evening, then Manchester City in the first Manchester derby of the season next weekend.

Cristiano Ronaldo – five appearances, 374 minutes played, two goals, one assist and two MOTM awards.

Cristiano Ronaldo won the Manchester United Player of the Month for September and should probably win this one, considering his goal against Atalanta won the game and he scored and assisted against Spurs. He was awarded two Man of the Match awards by the club for his performances against Atalanta and Spurs and his goal against Spurs will be a Goal of the Month contender, for the angle which he found the back of the net. Ronaldo has been a breath of fresh air since returning to the club, despite the poor team performances that followed the last international break. United with Ronaldo is a much better team but needs to be unbeatable.

Bruno Fernandes – five appearances, 408 minutes played, five assists and one MOTM award.

Bruno Fernandes has performed this month, despite United’s poor results. The Portuguese magnifico got himself five assists in the month, matching the seven assists held by Paul Pogba this season. Fernandes has four goals too, but non of those were scored in October. The midfielder was awarded the Man of the Match in the 1-1 draw with Everton, which was a poor result for United and one which continued throughout October, ending with a win. He assisted against Everton, Leicester, twice against Atalanta and once against Spurs. There are times when his form has tailed off but he always strives for high level performances at the club.

David De Gea – five appearances, 450 minutes played, one clean sheet – a goalkeeper in form.

The Spanish goalkeeper has performed exceptionally well during October, raising his game and showing many glimpses of the player he was before last season, when his form was questionable. He ended the month with his second clean sheet this season, which is no really achievement, but will be a starting point from a period where United were conceding goals at the fault of the defence rather than the goalkeeper. De Gea made any saves, helping to keep United in matches, especially the 3-2 victory over Atalanta in the Champions League. The past month will have made him more determined to succeed at United.

Marcus Rashford: four appearances, two from the bench, 172 minutes played, three goals.

Marcus Rashford only made he return from shoulder surgery against Leicester City, making four appearances in October, two of those from the bench. The three goals that he scored were needed for United, even the one against Leicester which levelled the score to 2-2 but United capitulated a minute later, then again in added time. Rashford also scored against Atalanta and Spurs – two matches which were wins and much needed at that. Having Rashford fit this season will be great for United and it’s clear he wants to achieve things at the club and will do all that he can to get United heading into the right direction.

Who is your Player of the Month for October 2021?

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Who is your Manchester United Player of the Month for October 2021?

A look at what lies ahead in November…

United will play five matches in November. It will be another busy month for United with two matches to be played before the final international break of 2021; Atalanta in the Champions League and Manchester City in the Premier League. Two weeks later, United will face Watford away in the league before the penultimate Champions League match away to Villarreal. The final match of the month will be away at Chelsea. United were supposed to face Arsenal at the end of November, but that match was rescheduled because it will be shown on television. United will have a busy December with eight matches being played. Here are November’s matches;

2 November – Atalanta, Stadio di Bergamo – UEFA Champions League

6 November – Manchester City, Old Trafford – Premier League

20 November – Watford, Vicarage Road – Premier League

23 November – Villarreal, Estadio de la Cerámica – UEFA Champions League

28 November – Chelsea, Stamford Bridge – Premier League

Written by John Walker

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