FC Basel vs Manchester United Match Analysis

In a game where we only needed one point to secure the top spot in group A, we couldn’t even get that! After our 4-1 win over Newcastle, United fans had reason to hope once again with United firing in 4, we felt certain that we would at least get a convincing win tonight. That wasn’t the case. We failed to take our chances in the first half and that proved to be costly, especially since we couldn’t get out of our own half for the last 30 minutes.

We started the first half very well and things were looking positive. Early on, Pogba was already creating chances with a cheeky no-look pass to thread Lukaku through on goal. However, his shot was saved by Vaclik. Moments later came another chance, this time to Fellaini who’s header was cleared off the line by Akanji. Two minutes after that, Fellaini had another opportunity to find the back of the net but his header from a Blind freekick flashed inches wide. Just before halftime, Anthony Martial cut in from the left flank and whipped in a delightful cross which glanced against the outside of the post. Our final chance of the half came to Marcos Rojo who almost capped off his return from injury with a wonder strike from 30 yards. He striked it cleanly but it took a huge deflection which saw it crash against the crossbar.

The phrase ‘a game of two halves’ is very fitting here. In the first half, Manchester United were the dominant team who could have scored 3 or 4 goals. However, things turned around in the second half where Basel were outstanding and Manchester United couldn’t string two passes together. United spent the entire second half on the back foot and were extremely lucky not to concede more than one. However, the deadline was broken in the 89th minute when a low cross into the box was met by Michael Lang who tapped home from close range.

Overall, this was a very poor performance from us and we deserved to lose. We did not play like a team. Today’s game has highlighted that there are still issues in our team which can’t just be fixed by the return of Paul Pogba.

Player ratings:

Sergio Romero – 7
The goal was not his fault and the Argentine looked very comfortable when called upon. It’s been hard for him to get game-time this season, but it was great to see him put in a good shift today.

Matteo Darmian – 3
Can’t cross, can’t pass, can’t defend. He looked out of place all game and was lucky not to have got sent off near the end of the match.

Marcos Rojo – 8
On his return from injury, he showed us what we were missing. With Bailly currently injured, Rojo proved that he is good enough to step in. He was pressing Basel well and won the majority of his duals. He was unlucky not to cap his return with a goal, by far our best player today.

Chris Smalling – 6.5
He didn’t do too much wrong or too much right to be honest. Not a great result for the birthday boy.

Daley Blind – 4
Another poor performing full-back. He was just as bad as Darmian. He admitted himself that he was at fault for the goal.

Paul Pogba – 7
He looked creative on the ball and it was great to see him back out on the pitch and captaining Manchester United. The midfield fell apart in the second half when he left the pitch.

Ander Herrera – 5
It seems like he is hiding in Pogba’s shadow. We needed him to step up when Pogba came off but he was poor and offered nothing to our team. Where has the Herrera from last season gone?!

Marouane Fellaini – 6.5
He looked strong and positive going forwards and was useful in the air defensively. However, he could have scored a hat trick in the first half.

Jesse Lingard – 5
At some points he looked like he could create something, but a lot of the time he was slowing down counter attacks and seemed to disappear for most the game.

Anthony Martial – 7
He was the only player who looked effective going forwards. Also, he seems to be the only player in our team who can cross the ball.

Romelu Lukaku – 6
Unfortunately the goal against Newcastle wasn’t enough to revive his form from earlier this season. He should have scored early on from Pogba’s pass. Can be argued that again the service in to him wasn’t good enough.

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