Man United Performance Offers Hope of Top 4 Finish

As Man United faced up to Stoke on Tuesday night many fans feared they’d witness another boring, high possesion, few chances type of game but we couldn’t have been more wrong.

The stats show it’s the small, defensive teams United have struggled to break down this season, making Stoke possibly to worst team for us to play. Our slow, possession based football is easy to defend against, so The Potters, who are known for being notoriously difficult to break down, will have been confident they could leave Old Trafford with at least a draw.

From the start Man United showed great intent with shots at goal, quick passing and over loading our attacks with players wide and through the middle.

Our first goal came from a brilliant low cross by Cameron Borthwick-Jackson which the Stoke defence were hesitate to touch, with fear they could knock it in themselves, only to be met by Lingard at the back post.

The Man United we’ve seen this season may have rested with the lead until half time but this was a team which were out to prove a point and eventually it paid off.

The second goal will surely go down as one of the goals of the season, it was quick, decisive  and everything we’ve seen throughout the years. A quick ball from Carrick eventually reached Mata on the wing who managed to take out two Stoke defenders with a slick pass to Rooney who crossed it to Martial, leaving the French youngster to curl it into the top corner.

Two goals in the first half? Man United fans couldn’t believe this was the same team they’ve been watching all season, a team who haven’t scored a first half goal since September.

The second half was always going to struggle to match the intensity of the first but in the 53rd min another great passing move ended with Rooney tapping the ball in to make it 3-0.

Are Man United Back?

I know Man United fans don’t want to hear or answer this question but there’s a reason we should at least consider it. The performance against Stoke wasn’t a one off. Consider how well the team played against Liverpool and Derby, quick, attacking, using width, it’s almost as though van Gaal has learnt how to get the best out the team.

We started the season with a strong defence but poor in attack, however due to criticism from fans, media and club legends, he began focussing on playing more attacking football. This left us short in defence, often conceding unnecessary goals but in the last few weeks we appear to have gotten the balance right.

We are able to break down defensive teams using quick passing and width, while also not getting caught out on the counter attack. I know we could say Southampton proves otherwise but could that just be a one-off?

I’d like think these performances will continue and with Arsenal and Chelsea coming up it’s going to be vital we win our next few matches if we want a top 4 finish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *