Another disappointing, frustrating and tedious afternoon at Old Trafford. Another draw, something which we have seen far too often this season. The game finished 0-0 and although United had a few chances, the majority of the game was played in-front of the West Brom back 11. I’ve seen a few teams come to Old Trafford and ‘play’ like this – Hull and Bournemouth the main culprits from memory. However, I expected West Brom to defend well, but to have a go at getting forward once in a while. It was clear that the Baggies had no intention of getting a goal on the counter-attack.
United were missing some key players such as Zlatan, Pogba and Herrera. The players that should have been more than capable of getting the job done. The front four of Lingard, Mkhitaryan, Martial and Rashford was packed full of pace and creativity. But breaking down the great wall of West Brom proved to be an impossible task. The Reds couldn’t go direct as that would play straight into the hands of McAuley and Evans. They also couldn’t pass through 11 men sat on the edge of the box so the only way to break down that system is to move the ball very quickly in order to stretch them out and create space in behind. United did this a little better in the second half, with some spells of good movement and quick play but it was few and far between. Most of the ball was passed from side to side across the field in front of the wall, hoping someone would commit and be drawn out – to no avail.
It was a dull game and 90 minutes to forget for Manchester United. With Liverpool winning earlier in the day it was a must win game for the Reds in order to continue putting pressure on the top four. Premier League action returns to Old Trafford on Tuesday where a troubled Everton will come and hopefully look to play a more open game. The Toffees gave it a good go in the Merseyside Derby yesterday whilst fielding four young players from their academy. I have a lot of respect for Everton but if they play like West Brom did, that’ll all be out the window. I appreciate defending is an important part of the game, but any team that comes to play a Premier League game to get 1 point through parking the bus, doesn’t have my respect. I feel sorry for their 2,000 travelling fans but for some reason, they’ll probably be happy with what they saw.