Huddersfield vs. Manchester United - Match Analysis

Manchester United’s top four hopes have finally been buried after getting inevitably delayed for several weeks — as United came away from already relegated Huddersfield with a stalemate 1-1 draw. 

Once again, as has been the case for the past few games, United looked livelier and showed more intent to respond to the critics early on — but that intensity faded with every minute of the game. 

The visitors looked promising going forward at times, and were in total control of the game when they got rewarded with the opening goal in the 8th minute. 

A series of attacks saw United eventually break the deadlock following some tidy one touch build up play initiated by Juan Mata. United ended up losing the ball during that sequence, only for it to be given straight back to them due to a Huddersfield error which saw Scott McTominay take a clever touch onto his left foot and rifle a low driven shot into the net. 

The hosts goalkeeper, Jonas Lossl, arguably could have done better with that effort, but United were deserving of the goal at that point nonetheless. 

The lack of celebrations and the urge to get the game restarted, presumably in order to score more goals, suggested that United were really up for it — and that perhaps the fans were in for a pleasant away day. 

The visitors continued to control the proceedings of the first half after taking the lead, but failed to convert any more chances and went off for the break with an underwhelming 0-1 lead. 

The second half began with United picking up where they left off — but with the hosts gradually beginning to come into the game and finding more joy with their counter attacks. Perhaps a little complacency crept into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, but the game suddenly didn’t look so comfortable for the Reds.

As a result, United got punished in the 60th minute as Huddersfield equalized in the blink of an eye following a United corner on the other end. The hosts goalkeeper claimed the ball from the United set-piece and drop kicked the ball upfield, finding the feet of forward Isaac Mbenza, following a failed clearance attempt from Luke Shaw. 

Mbenza composed himself as he approached David De Gea, and coolly slotted the ball home in between the legs of the United shot-stopper. 

A momentum shifting goal against the run of play — putting United with their backs firmly against the wall, desperately in need of a goal in order to keep the Champions League football dream alive for next season. 

United looked like the equalizer woke them up, and it seemed as if the winner would eventually come — with young Tahith Chong and Paul Pogba going very close late in the game. 

But ultimately, it was not to be, as the visitors failed to find the winning goal, with the game ending 1-1 — and Champions League football slipping away for good this time. 

Next up for United, the final game of the season at Old Trafford next Sunday against another already relegated outfit in Cardiff. 

With the Champions League gone, and completely nothing left to play for, next week’s finale will be a perfect opportunity to introduce some youth players to the Old Trafford faithful — and a chance to conclude the season on a somewhat positive note ahead of what is shaping up to be a very busy summer for Manchester United. 


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