Manchester United played six matches in September which saw the return of the Carabao Cup and the UEFA Champions League along with the Premier League. It was the first of a busy few months for United. The month started well with Cristiano Ronaldo returning to the club with a bang, scoring five goals in his first five matches for the club but United did not start well in either the Champions League, losing to Young Boys or the Carabao Cup, exiting following a defeat to West Ham United. Despite the defeats, which also includes the one to Aston Villa, United won two Premier League matches, earning six points and sit fourth in the league. They ended the month with a victory over Villarreal in the Champions League.
September Statistics: United started and ended the month on a high but saw problems in the middle.
Six matches played; three wins and three defeats. Six Premier League points won out of nine, knocked out of the Carabao Cup, which is more of a bonus rather than a negative and got their first points in the Champions League with a late victory over Villarreal. United scored nine goals in September, conceding seven. Cristiano Ronaldo scored five goals, Jesse Lingard scored two and both Alex Telles and Bruno Fernandes scored one each. Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes got two assists with Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Luke Shaw getting one each. Not the best month in the history of the club but it ended a positive one.
Goals: Cristiano Ronaldo 45+2′, 62′, Bruno Fernandes 80′, Jesse Lingard 90+2′; Javier Manquillo 56′
Assists: Luke Shaw 62′, Paul Pogba 80′, 90+2′; Allan Saint-Maximin 56′
Manchester United beat Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford in the Premier League. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in added time at the end of the first half, scoring his 119th goal for United. The Magpies equalised through Javier Manquillo in the 56th minute of the match before Ronaldo sealed his brace six minutes later. Bruno Fernandes scored a stunner in the 80th minute with Jesse Lingard getting on the scoresheet in added time at the end of the match. Paul Pogba got two assist with Luke Shaw getting the other. United will face Young Boys in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. Top of the league.
Goals: Nicolas Moumi Ngamalo 66′, Jordan Siebatcheu 90+5′; Cristiano Ronaldo 13′
Assists: Silvan Hefti 66′; Bruno Fernandes 13′
Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Young Boys in the opening UEFA Champions League group stage match of the season. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring, assisted by Bruno Fernandes in the 13th minute of the match. Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off for a bad foul in the 35th minute of the match, leaving United with ten men. Nicolas Moumi Ngamalo found the equaliser in the 66th minute of the match with United doing so well at that stage. United tried to hold out but Jordan Siebatcheu found the winner in the fifth minute of add time with the Swiss side getting all three points from the match.
Goals: Said Benrahma 30′; Cristiano Ronaldo 35′, Jesse Lingard 89′
Assists: Jarrod Bowen 30′; Nemanja Matic 89′
Manchester United beat West Ham United 2-1 in the Premier League at the London Stadium. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side once again came from behind to set their unbeaten away run to 29 matches now, two more than Arsenal’s record from 2004. Said Benrahma opened the scoring in the 30th minute for the Hammers but five minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo levelled the match. It looked like a 1-1 draw before Jesse Lingard won the match for United. There was late drama with a penalty awarded for the Hammers but David De Gea made the save from Mark Noble’s effort. What a match, what a moment, what a result!
Goals: Manuel Lanzini 9′
Assists: Ryan Fredericks 9′
Manchester United were beaten 1-0 by West Ham United in the third round of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford. Ryan Fredericks assisted Manual Lanzini for the only goal of the game in the ninth minute of the match. The Hammers fans will suggest they played well against United, but they were pretty lucky. David Moyes had his team sat back for the entire match, which is why he did not succeed at United as he does not have an adventurous style of play for his teams. Anthony Martial was terrible, which is something that has been obvious for some time – perhaps Anthony Elanga should replace him in this team?
Goals: Kortney Hause 88′
Assists: Douglas Luiz 88′
Manchester United fell to a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League. It was the first league defeat of the season; the third in all competitions with two of those coming at Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lost both Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire to injury before seeing Kortney Hause head home in the 88th minute to put Villa ahead in the match. Edinson Cavani called for a penalty as Hause handled the ball in the box in added time and the penalty was given both by the referee and VAR. Bruno Fernandes took the penalty, sending it over the crossbar. United 18-match undefeated run against Villa is over.
Goals: Alex Telles 60′, Cristiano Ronaldo 90+5′; Paco Alcácer 53′
Assists: Bruno Fernandes 60′, Jesse Lingard 90+5′; Arnaut Danjuma 53′
Manchester United beat Villarreal 2-1 in the Champions League at Old Trafford. It was a cagey first half with chances galore for the away side, however in-between David De Gea saving United’s blushed and poor finishing for Villarreal, United were able to avoid conceding a goal. Eight minutes into the second half, Paco Alcácer opened the scoring, assisted by Arnaut Danjuma. It took United just seven minutes to equalise with Alex Telles getting his first goal for United, assisted by Bruno Fernandes. United needed a win and that is what they got with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring in added time, assisted by Jesse Lingard.
Cristiano Ronaldo – five appearances, 432 minutes played, five goals and one MOTM award.
What a return to the Theatre of Dreams for Cristiano Ronaldo. At 36, the United haters, which included some of the cos own fans this season (the ones on Twitter, not at Old Trafford) said all they could to write him off. He’s had a better impact at the club than Alexis Sanchez, despite not matching his nine assists – but has done his five goals. A brace against Newcastle United, then single goals against Young Boys, which was a defeat, West Ham United, which was an equaliser, and now the winner against Villarreal in the Champions League, the Portuguese forward has much more to give in his career and long may that continue.
Jesse Lingard – five appearances, 174 minutes played, two goals and one assist.
A resurgent display whilst on loan for the second half of last season at West Ham may have saved his career. Seemingly on the cards for an exit in the summer but he decided to stay and fight for a place. He’s not got all that many minutes but goals against Newcastle, West Ham and an assist for Ronaldo’s winner against Villarreal shows that he might just be reborn at United, although he needs to be offering a lot more across the remainder of the season. A good player to bring off the bench at this moment in time and long may that continue too. There has been far worse players to have played for this club in the not too distant past.
David De Gea – five appearances, 450 minutes played, one penalty save and two MOTM awards.
It has been a resurgent display for David De Gea this season. He has started to rediscover his form and prove himself at the club, which is a good sign as it looked like the end of the road for him last season with Dean Henderson seeking to derail him. His positioning has become much better, he has the confidence to make saves again and saved that late penalty against West Ham, which kept United ahead and grabbing all three points from that cagey match. De Gea has been the saviour for the club in a few matches this month, and this season for that matter. He won the Man of the Match awards for the wins over West Ham and Villarreal.
Notable Mentions: Raphael Varane, Alex Telles, Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic and Jadon Sancho
There have been few players to rise to the challenge at the club this month and a few more could do a lot more for the club. Raphael Varane has strengthened the United defence to the point where there is some sort of confidence, although more could be done to stop goals being leaked. Luke Shaw has continued his form from last season, despite picking up and injury against Aston Villa that ended his month. Alex Telles has played some vital minutes after his return from injury, scoring his first goal for the club against Villarreal in a much needed win in the Champions League, coming after three defeats in four matches.
Nemanja Matic has shown his worth for United but also underlined the importance of solving the problems with the midfield, which would complete this squad for United moving forward. Matic is the only experienced defensive midfielder at the club and his performances of late have helped United, but it is well known that he cannot continue to be relied on as his performances slip the more he plays. Jadon Sancho has started to settle at the club and has shown glimpses of his worth to the club – despite the media and the CEO of Borussia Dortmund criticising his playing time at United, which so far has involved him playing 402 minutes of a possible 810 so far.
Who is your Player of the Month for September 2021?
A look at what lies ahead in October…
United will play five matches in October, which could have been six if they had made it to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, which now gives them a rest between the matches against Liverpool (Home) and Tottenham Hotspur (Away). United will play four Premier League matches in October with the first against Everton (Home) which will then signed the second international break of the season with two weeks of no club football. United will then face Leicester City (Away), Atalanta (Home), Liverpool (Home) and Spurs (Away) – hopefully ending the month in style, rather than more discontent. It will be a big month for United.
2 October – Everton, Old Trafford – Premier League
16 October – Leicester City, King Power Stadium – Premier League
20 October – Atalanta, Old Trafford – UEFA Champions League
24 October – Liverpool, Old Trafford – Premier League
30 October – Tottenham Hotspur, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Premier League
Written by John Walker