Sunday 30 October 2016

Can't fault performances but we're lacking a killer touch

Jose Mourinho and Ander Herrera both sent off, Mark Clattenburg public enemy number one, a world class goalkeeping display and a misfiring strike force.

Yesterday's draw with Burnley had more or less everything (expect a goal) but the over-riding frustration is that this is United side lacking a killer touch.

The last two home league performances against Stoke and then Burnley have been two of the best we've seen for several seasons but, while the 0-0 stalemate against Liverpool will be applauded this one won't be.

We had 37 shots against Burnley and 28 against Stoke- more than we had under LVG across the whole of last season combined- which in itself is progress but we've picked up two points and only scored once.

On the positive side, things are starting to click, we're playing the attacking football we're accustomed to and the players look like they are enjoying themselves again.

There's not much a manager can do when his players are misfiring but if Jose's rebuild is to make bigger strides then he needs to sort out this dry spell.

Burnley's away record- successive defeats at Chelsea, Leicester and Southampton- looked perfect for a United strike force desperately in need of a goal glut.

It had been four matches since either main strikers Zlatan or Rashford had scored in the league and both would have fancied their chances against Burnley.
But Sean Dyche's side exposed the depth of a mini barren run that is building up for Jose.

Former Academy products Michael Keane and discarded keeper Tom Heaton were in inspired form and we just couldn't find a way through. 

What we didn't want was for our famed Swedish hitman to fluff his lines after 30 seconds. 

He started his Old Trafford career like a train but the adrenaline has worn off and he can't buy a goal at the moment.
He hasn't scored since City on 10 September and had he not 'passed' to Heaton with that early opening we would have been looking at our biggest win of the season.

Instead we saw Stoke City, 2.0 

Against Mark Hughes dogged visitors, Zlatan missed a sitter inside two minutes and that gave them hope.
Despite our almost overwhelming dominance, that worrying lack of cutting edge gave Burnley belief- just as Stoke grew in stature- and they carved out a gritty draw when they should've been dead and buried.

Zlatan's cultured touch is superb but it sometimes needs more conviction and fire, he had chance after chance but it was never enough to find a breakthrough.
Referee Mark Clattenburg will be under the spotlight for some questionable decisions but we should have won this without the need for finger-pointing. 

With Rashford quiet, no Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney on the bench again, it didn't 'Mata' what Juan tried to create, United had the look of a team who could play until Christmas and not score.

Heaton, plus the woodwork, added up to another one of those days. 

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