Another disappointing performance by Manchester United against Everton this lunchtime saw the team fail to keep a clean sheet for the ninth consecutive home game.
In fact, the run of nine games is the worst in fifty years, a horrific statistic.
OptaJoe tweeted that ‘9 – Manchester United have conceded at least once in each of their last nine league matches at Old Trafford, their longest run of games without a clean sheet at home in the top-flight since February 1971 (10 games). Countered.
9 – Manchester United have conceded at least once in each of their last nine league matches at Old Trafford, their longest run of games without a clean sheet at home in the top-flight since February 1971 (10 games). Countered. pic.twitter.com/xjpQ1Sc0Hm
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 2, 2021
In truth, the Red Devils were a little lucky not to have conceded a second goal, when what looked like an Everton winner was ruled offside by the VAR after the on-pitch officials had seen no infringement.
Whilst captain Harry Maguire was missing from the back line, there should have been adequate reinforcements with Sweden international Victor Lindelof playing alongside World Cup winner Raphael Varane in defence.
But United were once again caught on the counter-attack, due to a combination of committing too many men forward and not being organised or pacey enough to deal with the breaking players.
This chaotic scrambling back after a set piece seems to have become a common occurrence this season.
Asked at yesterday’s press conference what he was doing to resolve the problem, the manager said:
‘That’s the challenge that we’re facing more and more. That’s what we’ve got to be better at. We want to be in that position; that players give us that respect.
‘We need to win the ball quickly, make better decisions, as I’ve said, win the ball back quicker… there’s so many things that you’ve got to do right.
‘Lock it down, be organised behind the ball. The transitions game in football… with pitches, how nice they are now compared to 10-20 years ago, as well. The ball moves so rapidly up and down that pitch.’
Clearly, the coaching staff are still struggling to make the necessary adjustments and this single issue has been a major contributing factor to the awful nine-match run without a clean sheet that Solskjaer’s men have endured.
It is ironic that United are on one of their worst home runs in history whilst being on one of their best away runs – unbeaten in the Premier League in 29 games.