The Blues travelled to Old Trafford on the back of some abysmal performances. With barely a hope to go off, it was always set up to be a hard day at the office.
It has to be said straightaway, the improvements today were evident for all to see compared to our previous two performances. The players provided Koeman with the passion and hunger he had bemoaned during his post match press conference on Thursday evening. He was right, what you can’t achieve with your ability you must try to achieve it with your pride.
A dogged determination was met with, generally, better football. There was finally some signs of a team ethic, the pressing was enforced by one player and immediately followed up by another. On the whole the passing was a lot more accurate and meaningful than we’ve seen so far this season.
The final result was a harsh, harsh reality that performances need to last the length of the match and not just periods, it’s something else to work upon.
Arguably, you could say David De Gea was their man of the match. The Spanish goalkeeper kept United at 1-0 for 60 minutes of the game. Making saves from Rooney, Sigurdsson and an offside effort from Davies provided more fuel to the burning fire that is the goalkeepers reputation. Everton actually played balls through the united defence at ease today but De Gea provided some last ditch saves.
We have provided cronstructive criticisms for Cuca Martina this season, and although we still stick by our point of his game being 95% attack minded, he provided some excellent crosses today. Martina provided the width we’ve craved and Man.utd allowed us the freedom to keep running thing through the right wing back.
We cried out for a bit of determination after Atalanta and we got it in good chunks of the game. The failing came from some tired minds and legs after some physically tough matches so close together and the drain that is involved with the previous heavy defeats we’ve suffered. We must find a way to defender better, we can’t keep playing 5 defenders and 3 defensive midfielders and concede 3-4 goals per game. If we can’t score we’ve got to make sure we don’t concede.
The performance wasn’t anything close to the standard we should expect, but it’s surely provided a base for Koeman and the team to carry on building and hopefully take some confidence from the positives we displayed.