After a 1-1 draw with Everton, Manchester United missed out on a chance to go top of the Premier League.
Due to Andros Townsend’s equalizer, Anthony Martial’s strike was not enough to win the game against Rafa Benitez’s team.
Here is a look at four things to note from the match…
Solskjaer goes back to 4-2-3-1
In a midweek match against Villarreal, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer used a 4-3-3 formation, and United appeared vulnerable to counterattacks.
As Solskjaer reverted to his tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation, Fred was in the side ahead of Paul Pogba.
Demarai Gray was still able to find space between the lines at times, but there was more control in the first half than there was in the second, but there was still a lack of innovation.
The discussion over whether both Fred and Scott McTominay are needed in midfield will continue, as Solskjaer replaced the Brazilian with Paul Pogba with United looking for a winning goal after 70 minutes.
Ronaldo is droppable
Cristiano Ronaldo is 36 years old, so it’s understandable that he won’t play every game, and this was his first Premier League encounter since his return.
Edinson Cavani deserved to start, and this was a preview of how Solskjaer will manage his team in the future.
Solskjaer is known for making late substitutes, but Ronaldo came on after 56 minutes to replace Cavani.
As things stand, Bruno Fernandes appears to be United’s lone untouchable striker, but resting Ronaldo proved to be an expensive move.
United pegged back at home again
United made a habit of coming from behind away from home last season. The opposite is regularly happening at home this term.
United have gone 1-0 up in three of their four home league games so far, before being pegged back each time.
9 – Manchester United have conceded at least once in each of their last nine league matches at Old Trafford, their longest run of games without a clean sheet at home in the top-flight since February 1971 (10 games). Countered. pic.twitter.com/xjpQ1Sc0Hm
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 2, 2021
The above stat has to be a concern for Solskjaer. United roared back against Leeds and Newcastle but it’s hard to score twice in every home game just to get a win.
United miss chance to go top
United knew that if they won, they would take over first place in the league.
It was an opportunity to gain ground on at least one title challenger, with Liverpool and Manchester City meeting today.
Before the performance meandered, United started like a side with the bit between their teeth, and the flatness of the crowd mirrored that.
In the end, there was no comeback like the midweek dramas against Villarreal, and this was a huge opportunity that was squandered.
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