Manchester United failed to register a shot on target for the first time in their Europa League history during a miserable 0-0 draw with AZ Alkmaar in Holland.
It was a performance of such an entropic nature that writing anything substantial about its content would be like trying to fish in the Sahara desert.
The only two notable moments were Mason Greenwood having a shot blocked and Marcus Rashford being denied a stonewall penalty minutes from the final whistle, but even that didn’t feel very significant.
Against the backdrop of both teams looking utterly toothless, the idea of Rashford receiving and then converting a penalty felt wrong, almost like breaking the fourth wall.
0 – Manchester United have failed to have a shot on target in a UEFA Europa League game for the first time in their history (25 games). Blunt. pic.twitter.com/f3ADg6Qow6
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 3, 2019
The whole thing reminded me of a largely unknown game mode on Pro Evolution Soccer a number of years ago, whereby you could get the computer to control both teams. On beginner mode. What transpired was a kind of autopilot form of sequences, the ball going out of play and coming back in, then going out again, with effectively nothing happening in between.
That’s where United are now. How they got here, and how long they plan to stay, is an interesting question – but one that would probably require a book to properly answer.
And lastly, spare a thought for Sam Peoples, our dear editor in chief, who actually went all the way to Holland to watch that game. Always here if you need to talk, mate.