Monday, November 28, 2022

Manchester United 2-1 Villarreal: Three Things We Learned

Harry Kettle in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 30 Sep 2021

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It was another evening of high stress for Manchester United fans as they played host to Villarreal at Old Trafford. Just a few months ago they took on the Spanish side in the final of the Europa League but this time, they were both taking a step up and competing in the Champions League.

The visitors managed to take the lead but after a gruelling second half, it was the Red Devils who scored with almost the last kick of the game to ensure they took home all three points.

United struggle to get going

One of the big problems for Manchester United right now is they don’t exactly come firing out of the blocks. From Diogo Dalot at the back to Jadon Sancho up top, they had an okay first 10 minutes before really falling off the face of the earth until around the hour mark. They allowed Villarreal to impose themselves on the game and create some nice space and openings, to the point where United actually looked worse than they did for long spells of the Europa League final – and that’s saying something.

Villarreal’s lack of fire power

When you take Gerard Moreno out of a team that loves to draw games of football, there are always going to be issues. The most frustrating element of last night’s match for Unai Emery will be how his side missed countless opportunities to re-take the lead or potentially even extend it. Everything they did in the final third was precise and to the point, right up until they had to put the ball in the back of the net. Sure, they took the lead, but this should’ve been a lot more difficult for United.

Ronaldo saves the day again

Cristiano Ronaldo just can’t seem to stop scoring, can he? The Portuguese sensation actually looked pretty shoddy throughout this fixture and we don’t think that’s a particularly controversial thing to say given his age and how much he’s carried Manchester United since making his return in the summer. Still, players as great as him can summon moments of magic with the kind of composure most of us can only dream of – and that’s exactly what happened.

Jesse Lingard played an integral role in actually making the goal happen but it fell to feet of CR7 in the final seconds, and from there, he was always going to get the job done.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harry Kettle


Harry is a University of Worcester graduate who has been writing professionally for the last two years. He specialises in several sports such as MMA, pro wrestling and athletics, with football being his primary love. He continues to dream of a life in the Premier League as a Wolves fan.

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