Manchester United’s midweek result against Sheffield United was a disaster. A 2-1 home loss against the Premier League’s worst team was to be fair, a result which reflected a horrible performance.
United’s limp approach against the Blades was characterised by the stand-off defending for Sheffield United’s winner.
The team paid the price for leaving Fred out of the team, a player who stepped up with an impressive midfield display against Arsenal.
While United’s forwards could not provide the cutting edge, Fred gave United a tenacity in midfield which was sorely lacking days earlier at Old Trafford.
One statistic sums it up
Fred made five interceptions against Arsenal as United worked hard to make life as difficult as possible for the Gunners.
Against Sheffield United, Manchester United’s players, including substitutes, combined to make a total of four interceptions.
As a team, United made 15 in total against Arsenal, with United setting the tone for a more aggressive display than the one against Sheffield United.
Fred also won three tackles, more than any United midfielder or attacker, and two more than Arsenal’s Thomas Partey, who won just one tackle and one interception.
United are better with Fred involved
Fred’s performance highlighted that United are a better team when he is a starter.
The team’s problems in front of goal are however a big problem which needs solving, with United struggling to score in league games against the traditional ‘big six’ clubs this season.
He came close in the first half as his effort from the edge of the box was tipped narrowly wide. He is yet to score this season and has only three total goals as a United player.
If he could add a goalscoring edge to his game he would be the complete midfielder. Unfortunately his lack of goals often sees him go without the credit his performances deserve.
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