One cup loss and a goalless league draw against bottom of the table Hull City from our last three games doesn’t sound good does it? In most United seasons that would be deemed a joke and surely questions would be being asked about what is going on? However, as we know if you watched both games or were in fact at both games, you’ll know the cup tie loss wasn’t great but we’d already done a job and had a cushion going into the game so it was all about not losing over two legs. Rather than losing on the actual night.
We weren’t at our best but we stayed in the tie and with not long to go we were looking comfortable and winning 3-1 on aggregate. Unfortunately towards the end we conceded a late goal to end our sixteen game unbeaten run. The defeat was frustrating and it showed United weren’t happy with their performance with the look on Micheal Carrick’s face during his post-match interview. He was happy to have reached a cup final but still upset with the manner of our defeat.
As for the league game last night, two words for you… Eldin Jakupovic! What a game he had last night. Not as good as Tom Heaton did at Old Trafford earlier in the season, but it was close enough and I’m sure he must have got man of the match?
We started with three changes from our last league outing against Stoke City, plus Ashley Young was back in the squad. I am sick of the sight of seeing Hull recently after our third meeting in just 23 days. I’m glad we didn’t get them in the FA Cup as well. Thankfully that was Wigan Athletic, who we dispatch quite easily with four goals to nil just like we did against Reading in the previous round. Wigan like Reading, gave a good account of themselves but eventually we put them to one side which allowed Mourinho to even give sub goalie Castro Pereira 10 minutes towards the end.
Back to the game last night, I was most happy to see Rashford in the starting line up, but I’m okay he’s not playing too often as well. It would be good to get a couple more starts, but I bet he’s learning from and chatting to Zlatan so much to try to improve his game. Which certainly isn’t a bad thing!
All our attacking options struggled to score last night though and as well as their keeper they had Maguire as well. He so much reminds me of Phil Jones when he first came on the scene, he’s a big bulk of a guy who comes out with the ball, but doesn’t look too uncomfortable and can play. Plus then he’s willing to put his head on anything. Niasse looks a player and a good finisher too, but there is no way he should have finished the game, he was already on a yellow card and then puts the studs in half way down Carrick’s leg. Shocking!
Chances kept coming though, but Zlatan missed. Then Carrick with great ball into Ibra too, who’s touch was excellent for Pogpa who should have scored, but again Jakupovic made a great save as he came out and got down quickly. Jones then went off, what a frustrating evening but how many times have we said that at Old Trafford this season? Unlike under Moyes and van Gaal though, we’re playing good attacking football without actually taking as many chances as we should.
Pogba’s long-range passing is just outstanding and another great ball over the top found Rashford, he had a superb first touch as he controlled and brought the ball down brilliantly. Only to swing to early and scuff his shot. Then the best chance of the night when Mata’s volleyed shot from 2 yards was blocked on the line from Jakupovic. I was up ready to celebrate behind the actual Stretford End goal, but somehow it stayed out. That’s when I knew we weren’t going to score.
After all that pressure we nearly lost it in the dying moments when they broke quickly and caught us on the break. Markovic did everything right as he cut inside and then wrong footed De Gea, but his shot thundered off the inside of the post and went back across the goal. We got away with that one.