Manchester United have laboured to a disappointing 0-0 draw against PSV Eindhoven in their Champions League clash this evening.
Man United made a positive start to the match, with Bastian Schweinstieger forcing PSV keeper Jeroen Zoet into a save early on. The seventh minute saw fans at Old Trafford light up the stadium with their phones in tribute to United’s former No.7, George Best, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his death. Jesse Lingard then found himself in space in the box but his touch let him down and the chance went begging.
A fantastic opportunity to open the scoring fell to Morgan Schneiderlin, who got onto the end of Daley Blind’s corner. However, the Frenchman could not quite steer the ball into the net. Minutes later, Anthony Martial fired straight at Zoet from close range. The Frenchman was again denied by Zoet just before half time.
Lingard was unmarked in the PSV box following the interval but his header zipped just wide of the post. However, United’s play generally stagnated as the second half wore on. Substitute Ashley Young injected some urgency into the home side’s play but the rest of the team looked sluggish. It was laborious from United and Lingard spurned a golden opportunity when he again found himself unmarked in the box, with his shot flying over the bar. Neither side could find a winner, meaning United’s qualification hopes will go to the final game against Wolfsburg in two week’s time.
Poor finishing in the first half
The players made a zippy start to the game and linked up well but that final bit of quality was lacking in the final third. It was promising from United, who were playing some lovely football at times, it was just their finishing which needed improving. As it panned out, van Gaal’s side didn’t capitalise on their encouraging start and PSV gradually grew into the match. The Dutchman will undoubtedly be concerned with United’s lack of cutting edge on the night.
The 22-year-old had ups and downs against PSV on a night in which he should have scored at least twice.
Lingard was a livewire down United’s right flank, making himself a nuisance and combining well with Rooney and Martial. He was also prepared to put in the work at the other end of the pitch, and he was often on hand to clean up when PSV ventured forward. However, the youngster’s finishing was poor. Lingard’s header, after the break, went agonisingly close to going in before he wasted a huge opportunity to give United the lead from 12 yards after 74 minutes. A mixed bag from him.
Memphis would have been keen to build on his good performance against Watford last week but he struggled to make an impact against his former side on Wednesday, particularly during the first half.
To the Dutchman’s credit, he never stopped trying to make things happen in the final third, they just failed to come off more often than not. Memphis couldn’t beat his man, failed to really test the keeper and was frustrating in his overall play in the first period. The same could be said for many of his teammates but the spotlight was on Memphis and he didn’t deliver. It was no surprise to see him come off early in the second half.
The United captain has obviously had his critics this season but he had one of his better games of the campaign against PSV.
His touch, so often a source of frustration this term, was generally good and his passing was incisive and accurate. United had some poor performers on Wednesday night but Rooney was not among them.
Second half shambles
Where was the urgency from United in the second half? The desire? The players knew that a win would see them qualify but the game was almost being played at a walking pace in the second period. After an encouraging first 45 minutes, it was awful to see. United need some attacking impetus in their attacking lineup and quickly.