Three Manchester United players who struggled against Club Brugge
A 1-1 draw was not a terrible result away at Club Brugge but it could easily have been a lot better.
A weakened United team were really poor for the first 36 minutes until Anthony Martial’s moment of brilliance earned an undeserved equaliser.
United’s best players on the night were Nemanja Matic, Martial, and substitute Bruno Fernandes.
There were a number of underperformers though on a tricky rain sodden night in Belgium.
Here is a look at three who need to improve, especially if they feature next week in the second leg at Old Trafford…
United’s back up goalkeeper had been immaculate this season up until tonight.
His uncharacteristic error for Brugge’s goal was a reminder he is far from perfect.
There was no need for him to rush out to try and clear Simon Mignolet’s long punt upfield.
It was a misjudgement from the Argentine as he got nowhere near it as it landed in the path of striker Emmanuel Dennis who lobbed him expertly.
Romero did redeem himself after this with saves but he knows by now as a goalkeeper, an error can define your game.
He can’t have a repeat of this, especially with Dean Henderson waiting in the wings.
Pereira started off positively, firing in a low drive towards goal which forced a corner.
This was the only real goal threat he provided all night and United were a better side when he was taken off and replaced by Fred after 70 minutes.
United moved the ball quicker when Fred came on, with Pereira just not possessing the same sharpness and instinctiveness to link midfield and attack so smoothly.
Pereira was also guilty of trying to press the ball too high and was often caught out of position, adding to United’s disjointed performance.
He completed just 79 per cent of his passes, the lowest figure of any of United’s midfielders.
It has been hard for a while to see exactly what Jesse Lingard offers Manchester United.
Like Pereira, he needed to come out of the winter break firing and fighting for his spot.
Instead this was another dud of a performance from Lingard, the same sort he has served up for months.
His one shot on target towards the end was tame and the only reason he was on the pitch at the time was because United could only use three substitutes.
The minutes and the game time will be helpful to him, but if Lingard wants to save his Manchester United career, he needs to play better than this.
Other notable mentions: This was also a difficult night for full-backs Brandon Williams and Diogo Dalot. Both players will feel they could have defended better and offered little going forward.
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