Home » Top-four slipping away as Manchester United suffer yet another away loss

Top-four slipping away as Manchester United suffer yet another away loss

by Ayantan Chowdhury

A familiar pattern seems to be emerging for Manchester United as they succumbed to a 2-0 loss at the hands of Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday.

While manager Erik ten Hag deserves plaudits for winning silverware at the first attempt and fixing the mood around the place, their away form remains abysmal.

After the latest setback, the stats make for alarming reading. United have conceded 25 goals in their six away defeats in the Premier League.

Away day woes for United

The Red Devils have shipped 29 goals on their travels and this makes them the team with the fourth-worst defensive record in the league this season, at par with teams fighting relegation.

Whenever the stakes are high in the league, the team has kept crumbling. They dropped away day clangers against arch-rivals Manchester City and Liverpool, conceding a combined 13 in those games.

Losses against Arsenal and a draw against Crystal Palace effectively ended their chance of mounting an unlikely title charge.

Games after the international break have proved tough for the team to handle. The first game back in October coincided with City toying with Ten Hag’s men.

And now Eddie Howe’s side took revenge for their Carabao Cup loss. At no point in the game, did United look remotely close to looking like they were up for the occasion.

Ten Hag has not been helped by the suspension suffered by Casemiro and the injury to Christian Eriksen but that should not be an excuse for a team looking to regain their place at the top of English football.

The squad depth is akin to a team in the bottom-half and the manager has had to make interesting tactical tweaks to try and find a solution and recently, they have all failed.

The attempt at playing Bruno Fernandes on the left against Liverpool backfired spectacularly while against the Magpies, Scott McTominay was used as the No 10 and he seemed like a fish out of water.

ETH keeps making strange tactical tweaks

His substitutions were equally strange on Sunday. He removed both centre-backs Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez and brought on Victor Lindelof as the lone centre-back to try and give impetus to the team to get an equaliser.

It failed big time as the hosts ended up scoring a second to heap further misery on the Reds who are now fourth in the table and could drop to fifth at the end of this game-week if Tottenham win their game.

Are the team prioritising Cup competitions over the league? That is a dangerous gamble to play and Ten Hag should try and change that approach as fast as possible.

Huge games against Brentford and Everton are coming up and United cannot afford to slip up any further. Changes are needed and maybe strong decisions need to be taken for the betterment of the team.


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