United’s defence was shambolic
Considering that they didn’t allow a single goal on Monday night against Liverpool, the way in which Manchester United completely capitulated defensively at Stamford Bridge today was alarming. Chris Smalling was at fault for seemingly all four goals, whilst David De Gea and Daley Blind weren’t any better at times, including some appalling decision making 30 seconds into the game for Pedro’s opening goal. A cruciate ligament injury to Eric Bailly means United will be without one of their best performers this season for some time, and the centre backs left behind have got to perform so much better than this if United have any hopes of achieving anything this season.
Zlatan can’t keep playing if he isn’t scoring
Just like the draws with Stoke City and Liverpool, Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a chance that could have changed the complexion of the game but missed badly. His first half header was wildly off-target, and at 1-0, it proved a crucial miss. If Ibrahimovic can’t make up for his lack of movement and pace with goals, then he shouldn’t play as much. Simple.
Paul Pogba goes missing again
It’s clear that United didn’t buy the finished product when they bought Pogba back from Juventus this summer, but it’s alarming how little the Frenchman’s influence has been so far since the move. Games seemingly pass him by, featuring loose touches and wayward decision-making. Price tag or no, he needs to up his game.
Mourinho still doesn’t know his best XI
Luke Shaw, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial can all feel reasonably aggrieved about the form of the players currently keeping them out of the starting XI. Rooney’s injury aside, there’s talent and pace in Shaw, Mkhitaryan and Martial, and those are two things that we haven’t seen enough of from United lately.
It’s alarming that Mourinho still doesn’t know how best to set his side out at this stage, and given how poorly his side defended, that they don’t have a leader who can inspire confidence and be called upon to rally the troops when things to awry.
United have to improve in the big games
One goal scored in games against Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea so far this season, and just one point, too. All three of those sides are showing genuine Premier League title aspirations, and United have been second best pretty much each time. Vast improvement is needed, and fast, lest United get left behind for another season.