Ronaldo and Manchester United’s Struggles Continue
History keeps repeating itself for Manchester United after their match against Southampton ended in a draw last weekend at the Old Trafford. In a span of nine days, Man United suffered the same fate. For the third game in a row, the team started really strong, scored a goal, and then basically stopped playing after that. Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo‘s struggles also continue.
Manchester United’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick demanded consistency from his team, but his team still wasn’t up to the challenge. The game plan for Man United was intact, and it was all clear in their initial attack.
Man U defender Rick Shaw said, “History is repeating itself again. We started really well the first 20 minutes, got the goal, and it just happened again.”
Another notable statistic on the part of Manchester United is the number of shots by Southampton, which was 14 compared to their 13. This number goes to show less aggression from United in the latter part of the game, considering they were the aggressors in the first half of the game. Fortunately, David de Gea successfully protected the goal and prevented any other goals from Southampton. Without de Gea’s strong play, the match would have ended up in a loss on the part of Man U.
Manchester United‘s forward Cristiano Ronaldo still has not scored a single goal in the year 2022. He is obviously frustrated. In a particular play last weekend, he sprinted to close down Southampton’s goalkeeper Fraser Forster but realized fellow Man U forward Marcus Rashford did not trail him for the play. Ronaldo arched his back and pressed his hands on his knees out of frustration.
Coach Rangnick defends his star forward that it would be unfair to blame Manchester United’s struggles solely on Ronaldo. It is a team effort, and it clearly shows Man United only plays one half of the game and misses out on the latter half. The lack of intensity in the 2nd half is a major concern.
If Rangnick and Manchester United cannot flip the script on their recent performances, even their top-four challenge at the Premier League is in danger as well.