Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has criticised Manchester United’s lack of defensive discipline in the second half of their 1-0 defeat to FC Basel in the Champions League.
But they took their foot off the gas in the second period ultimately paid the price as Michael Lang – Basel’s most consistent attacking threat – taking advantage of some shambolic positioning from Daley Blind to slide home a 90th minute winner.
And Gerrard, speaking after the game on BT Sport, noted that Man United lost their discipline as the game went on.
“It wasn’t a Jose Mourinho type of performance,” he said. “On the transition, none of their players help them defend. United should have been a couple up by half-time, but they got what they deserved in the end.”
This was like no other defeat suffered by United in recent times. Mourinho will sometimes see his side punished for a lack of potency in the box, or perhaps due to a lack of impetus in the middle, but to let significantly inferior opposition back into the game through sheer sloppiness is virtually unheard of.
The lack of efficiency and positional assurance whenever Basel won the ball back, for one thing, was painfully sluggish, as were the timing of most challenges committed by Blind or Matteo Darmian in the last 30 minutes.
For the first time since the UEFA Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid back in August, United lost all form of control at the back, and supporters can be sure that Mourinho will not take such a capitulation lightly.