Two of the biggest names in European football clashed in an enthralling Super Cup encounter and here are some of the observations made as United were defeated by Los Blancos
Jose goes for 3-5-2 again
The formation is starting to appear like United’s “plan A”. May not have been best suited to the personnel available for the game but Jose favors it apparently.
Matic looks impressive
The Serbian was a composed presence in midfield and controlled the tempo of United’s play. You would be forgiven for believing he had been conducting this orchestra for ages. His shot from range also led to the Red Devil’s solitary goal. The former Chelsea man is making Carrick look obsolete. Thank you Chelsea.
The towering midfielder has hit the ground running
The Galatasaray links boosting Fellaini?
The Belgian had a positive impact upon introduction – continuing on from his fine performance against Valerenga. The game in Oslo came amid rumors of a potential move to Turkey – which were quickly shutdown. However the brief possibility of a departure appears to have awoken the player. Fellaini was not his usual clumsy self, instead he went into challenges intelligently without being overly physical. Hardly sounds like the Fellaini we know. Should his current form be maintained then he will certainly be an asset to United over the course of the season.
What is a Smalling
One of United’s most frustrating players. The England CB has gone from being arguably one of the ten best CBs in Europe under LVG to an inconsistent shadow of his former self. The defender displayed both sides of his game in just the first twenty minutes of play. Going from nearly conceding a penalty to some brilliant last-ditch defending. Still a worry at the back, but was made to look good by …
… the not-so Iceman Lindelof
The Swedish defender continues to struggle in United’s colors, and his poor form is becoming a worry – despite the recognition that it’s early days and he is a young player still. Yet, when compared to JM’s other CB signing (Bailly), the hype surrounding the Swede has not been justified. Against Los Blancos the former Benefica man made a typically nervous Smalling look like the actual iceman. Hardly seems like the Swede is going to form a Rio-Vidic partnership with anyone anytime soon. It’s hard to picture Tuanzebe having a worse game.
Lindelof cut a miserable figure
Valencia can do a job on the wing
The Ecuadorian played most of the game as a wing-back and displayed his capability of being a decent winger. He may not possess the trickery of a dribbler like Mahrez, what he does have in abundance is energy, running power and crossing ability. With United desperately searching for a wide player to exploit Lukaku’s aerial prowess, Valencia may become an option for the right wing. But a gaping vacancy has appeared on the left because…..
…Jose Mourinho rates Lingard over Martial (Why?)
The continued favoring of Lingard over Martial is becoming one of the mysteries of modern football. Accepted, Martial’s form was dodgy last season, but even at that he still offers more offensively than the English midfielder. Asides being a willing runner it’s hard to place what exact skill-set Lingard offers. Against Madrid he was so shocking he had to be replaced at half-time. The Frenchman would be dissapointed not to play any part in the game considering how impressively he played against the Spaniards recently. If Jose isn’t going to trust the former Monaco man then United better go all out for Perisic – and allow Martial develop his game at a club where he is guaranteed game time. Whether that will happen remains uncertain, what is certain is that Lingard has never played well enough to be considered a regular starter in big games – except at Wembley (LOL).
Lukaku’s potential untapped still
Jose Mourinho’s men still have not figured out how to play through the Belgian. Service to the striker was always going to be difficult against a well-drilled Madrid engine. However (even despite the Belgian’s dodgy moments) the potential was clear to see whenever the ball found its way to the former Evertonian around the penalty area. Given three (somewhat) half chances he put one away, fluffed another and was beaten to a header for the third. Not a bad conversation rate, one in three. United need to work on creating the kinds of opportunities and goal scoring chances Lukaku thrives on.
Lukaku: Hunger for more
There’s quality and then there is QUALITY
United defeated the Spaniards via a penalty shootout in pre-season, yet when it mattered most the huge gulf in class was evident. Even Ronaldo was not needed from the start. Nonetheless considering where both clubs have been in recent times, United were outplayed and outclassed but not necessarily outwitted. And speaking of quality ….
…. United should rue missing out on Isco
The talented Spaniard completely ran the show against United and unsurprisingly sc0red. But Isco could have been in Jose’s team considering United reportedly passed up the player while he was at Malaga. His form may eventually contribute towards pushing Bale (possibly) to Manchester, but as it stands…….
…. Bale staying in Madrid per Jose’s theorem …
… and subsequent admission of defeat after the game. Pretty self explanatory LOL.