5 Things We Learned: Manchester United 1-1 AFC Bournemouth


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1. Worst home win percentage in 27 years

Not since 1990 have we had a worse home win percentage. That season we finished 13th, that won’t happen this season but it gives a good idea of why we are not higher up the table. Arsenal who have now lost double the amount of games this season as us this season are still above us. We have however drawn 10 games now, 7 of which have come at Old Trafford. We find it hard to score goals at home, particularly in games in which we dominate against teams below us in the table. 5 of the draws have come against teams below us in the table, turning those 5 draws into wins would see us just 4 points behind league leaders Chelsea. We have become hard to beat under Mourinho but our wastefulness has cost us this season in the league. Mourinho’s first season in his second spell with Chelsea was similar but not as bad, they struggled for consistent goalscorers, something which Mourinho rectified in the summer by signing Costa, the improvement of a talented young player (Hazard) also helped. Mourinho will have to hope for similar this summer; a signing and the improvement of young players like Rashford and Martial will be needed next season because on this season’s evidence we don’t have goals when Ibrahimovic has an off game.

2. Pogba needs to learn it’s not all about him

Pogba beared the brunt of most of the post match criticism, he did have a poor game but this was more down to trying to do too much by his self than not doing enough like Ibrahimovic. He was involved a lot and more of what he tried failed to come off, he did have some good moments, chances he created were spurned by his fellow team mates just as he spurned chances created for him by his team mates. Too often this season though Pogba has been guilty of trying to win games by himself, and yesterday was no different in my view. He was taking too many touches which slowed the play down, and as the second half progressed, the worse he got, composure and decision making went out the window. Should he be dropped? No. He’s a young player and sometimes it’s easy to forget that because of his transfer fee last summer, he still has a lot to learn and still has to find consistency in his game.

3. Mourinho over reliant on Ibrahimovic

Not for the first time this season, Ibrahimovic did not have a good game but Mourinho has been reluctant to take him off or use Rashford in tandem with him. One of the few times he has put Rashford upfront with Ibrahimovic late on in a game, it has been successful with Rashford scoring the winner early on in the season at Hull after Ibrahimovic had 7 shots in the game with none on target. He has scored a lot of goals for us and there is no doubt he has been very good for us but his conversion rate has not been great. In a tight 2-1 win at home to Middlesbrough in December, Rashford was brought on and interchanged with Martial during the last 20 minutes to work in tandem with Ibrahimovic, which again proved successful. When Ibrahimovic is not working, Mourinho needs to look at alternatives instead of banging the same drum. He may be forced into a change with Ibrahimovic facing the prospect of a 3 match ban after his retaliation on Mings.

4. Luke Shaw returns

Luke Shaw is the latest player to come through the Mourinho treatment and earn a start and the young left back performed relatively well in his first league appearance since October. Rumours have been circulating for a while about Shaw’s poor attitude and application. Mourinho’s comments pre-match and a start for Shaw here suggests he may have finally turned a corner, it’s fair too soon to say that he definitely has though. Having suffered a horrific leg break last season, he didn’t shy away from some crunching tackles. Understandably unable to play the full 90 having played so little this season but his performance was one of few positives on the day, not a great performance but a positive in his circumstances. Left back has been a problematic position for us, Shaw is easily our best option there but he must work hard to improve now and ensure he is able to complete 90 minutes while also playing at the best of his ability.

5. Terrible officiating

The game turned into ugly in the 40th minute as Mings first stamped on Ibrahimovic’s head who then retaliated moments later with an elbow to Mings’ face, Surman then received a 2nd yellow for shoving Ibrahimovic having seen the elbow. Referee Kevin Friend then had to be reminded by Luke Shaw and Wayne Rooney that it was Surman’s 2nd booking and therefore had to be sent off. Friend had dealt with the situation very poorly and it was a very confusing few moments for players and fans. The game turned into a farce in the second half with the constant time wasting from Bournemouth players that went unpunished time and time again, just 5 minutes were then added on at the end of the game. They aren’t the first team to time waste at Old Trafford this season and won’t be the last, teams know they can get away with it now. Bournemouth were also very lucky not to be reduced to 9 players too with 15 minutes to go, Arter should have seen red for a second bookable offence after a late tackle on Pogba. Friend had no control of the game from late in the first half to the full time whistle, Mings and Ibrahimovic are likely to be banned retrospectively and Friend should lose his Premier League status for a few weeks too.

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