This is a worrying match if you are a United fan in more ways than you know. The result in the end is what matters but the performance also matters especially with Liverpool and the Manchester Derby on the horizon. Let’s begin with the Manchester United formation which has been a bone of contentious debate in recent weeks. Ole again went for his tried(don’t know about successfully tested) midfield anchor of McTominay and Fred. The side from Bergamo were all over them in the first half with Pasalic’s forward runs together with Freuler winning the ball time and time again. Bruno Fernandes came alive in the second stanza but boy was he struggling in the first half. His pass completion rate was very low for a player his team looks up to for creativity. Pogba was benched following his stinker at the King Power but came on to good effect in this one. Maybe this is the push he needed to kick on.
Harry Maguire had a nightmare game against Leicester. Although I believe it is unfair to scapegoat a player in a team sport, he was a bit of the pace then. He was in the first half against Atalanta probably culpable for the Demiral header, his positional awareness is suspect along with Lindelof. But the United captain has his own merits. In the two years he has been at United he has amassed 10 goals in the league and 8 assists as well. So along with Lindelof again they are very handy in attack., just like in this match. Harry’s half volley finish can make any striker green with envy. The exclusion of Duvan Zapata was a surprise to me. The Colombian would have added a different dimension to the Atalanta attack to Muriel who faded as the game went on. He wins a lot of aerial balls. When he came on he gave Lindelof a headache or two. Yes, great result for United who now top Group F by two points from Villarreal in second. But I will repeat, they are now seldom in control of matches they need that dominant central midfielder.