“We need to stop doing that,” said Marcus Rashford, but even he couldn’t help but laugh that they did it again. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also saw the funny side, remarking the 1-0 lead conceded at half-time to West Ham on Saturday was an improvement on the previous week’s 2-0 at St Mary’s.
For the fifth game this season, Manchester United went behind and emerged victorious. Brighton, Newcastle, Everton, Southampton and West Ham all took leads, most of them deservingly, only to finish empty-handed by the final whistle. The comeback against Southampton, with its 92nd-minute winner, was objectively the most bombastic. However, the ferocity of the West Ham job was a real WWE style flexing of the muscles, complete with the heel-like booing from a hometown crowd followed by empty devastation at the three-count.
Of Manchester United’s 19 points this season, 15 have now been accrued from losing positions. And while that’s good and bad, it’s worth focusing on the good for now because, let’s face it, the world is not lacking for negativity.
Not since Sir Alex Ferguson has a United manager got so much out of his attacking talent. To do that, Solskjaer has had to be decisive in many of the above scenarios above. On Saturday he threw on Bruno Fernandes and Rashford at half-time for last week’s match-winner Edinson Cavani and the £40million Donny van de Beek. Fernandes assisted the equaliser and was heavily involved in the other two goals. The third of which, scored by the Rashford came via a through-ball from another sub, Juan Mata. Even keeping on Paul Pogba, perennially maligned, relentlessly booed and regularly dispossessed – 17 times, and it really did feel like more – was pro-active in its passivity.
It’s also fun, and there is something to be said for that, at least from a fan’s perspective. Football under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho was stagnant, at times soulless, and while the last two years haven’t seen much progression, there have at least been moments to savour. Results in Paris, at Old Trafford against Manchester City, even the two sandwiching the midweek defeat to Paris Saint-Germain, provided short term highs, but highs nonetheless. Comedowns are tomorrow’s problem. Continue reading