Manchester United started 2020 with a whimper as they produced a gutless display against Arsenal.
After Chelsea drew against Brighton, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had the chance to close the gap to 4th place to just 2 points.
But United were at their toothless, passive and dire best, we didn’t cause the hosts who have a leaky defence any trouble whatsoever.
First half goals from Nicolas Pepe and Sokratis were enough for the Gunners to secure a 2-0 victory and give Mikel Arteta his first win.
Here are the United players that were well off the pace.
The world’s most expensive defender struggled to handle the pace and movement of Arsenal’s talented forward line.
Maguire tried to get as tight as he could to Alexandre Lacazette, but there were too many times where United’s captain got spun or outmanoeuvred.
It was clear that the former Leicester City man was getting frustrated by the glaring lack of movement in front of him and that resulted in a number of passes going astray.
His lack of pace and mobility was exploited against the Gunners and this was highlighted when he cynically brought down Mesut Ozil.
It was arguably Maguire’s most disappointing performance since joining the club in the summer.
Shaw’s performance was always going to be under scrutiny due to how well Brandon Williams played against Burnley.
Solskjaer opted to recall Shaw but it was a decision which backfired and should result in Williams getting another to chance to stake his claim against Wolves.
There is never any urgency when Shaw is either defending or attacking everything is done at half pace.
Arsenal’s record signing Pepe has endured a torrid start to life in England, but somehow Shaw made him look like a world beater.
He never put a tackle in and just backed off after being left on his backside after he got sold for a dummy.
The former Southampton man is too ponderous in possession, he takes far too many touches and a lot of his passes end up going backwards.
Solskjaer gave Lingard a chance to impress against a side he has had previous success in a bid to rekindle some form.
It was a harsh decision on Andreas Pereira who had contributed back-to-back assists in the games against Newcastle and Burnley.
United’s number 14 failed to have any influence on the match and was hooked just shy of the hour mark.
It is little wonder that Angel Gomes is stalling on signing a new deal when he isn’t being given a look in in a side that chops and changes their attacking midfielder on a regular basis.
He may be one of our own, but on a day where Jack Grealish and James Maddison’s respected stocks continue to rise, Lingard’s days a key part of this United side are dwindling and fast.
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