Manchester United dropped further back in the race for Champions League qualification after a frustrating 0-0 draw with Watford at Old Trafford.
It was a similar story for Ralf Rangnick’s sid, who failed to convert big chances and ended up losing two points.
Despite starting strongly in the first half, United looked tired and miserable towards the end of the game.
Rangnick’s desperation could be seen in his substitutions. United ended the game with no holding midfielder and three strikers on the pitch.
Man Utd 0-0 Watford
22 shots but only three on target for United, who remain fourth but with the chasing pack bristling with games in hand. Roy Hodgson now with 7 points from his last 3 PL games at Old Trafford. #MUNWAT pic.twitter.com/pCvUdog18P
— The Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) February 26, 2022
Cristiano Ronaldo had one of his worst games in a red shirt as he missed some golden opportunities to score.
His performance in the second half deteriorated further and his tiredness was evident.
The 37 year old has played three full games in a row, and it has taken a toll on his body.
With Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood absent, Rangnick has no choice but to play the Portuguese up front.
United are struggling to finish chances and moving forward, it could prove to be a big issue if Ronaldo doesn’t find his goalscoring form.
Bruno Fernandes too had a frustrating afternoon and missed two of the best chances to put United in front.
This is when fans see the negative side of his game.
Instead of keeping a calm head and passing it simply, the 28 year old reverts to trying an audacious move, often resulting in United losing possession.
Bruno must improve this side of his game if United want to compete for titles.
On a positive note, Nemanja Matic proved once again why he should be starting in the team.
Nemanja Matic's game by numbers vs Watford:
100% dribbles completed (2/2)
95 total touches
89% pass accuracy (72/81)
82% long balls completed
25 final third passes
9 ball recoveries
5 duels won
1 chance created
An assured midfield display from the veteran. 💪 pic.twitter.com/0gGQUaXB8n
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 26, 2022
The Serbian’s ability to break lines and control the midfield allowed United to create multiple goalscoring opportunities.
It will be interesting to see United’s midfield makeup once Scott McTominay returns to full fitness.
Anthony Elanga was another bright spark in United’s attack.
His directness and pace kept Watford defenders on their toes. The Swede has been a breath of fresh air and has grasped his opportunity with both hands.
With respect to the Premier League, Arsenal are now two points behind United with three games in hand. With the Red Devils’ tough run of games in March, top four looks unlikely.
Man United might need to win the Champions League to qualify for it next season!