Despite beating Real Sociedad 1-0 in the Champions League, Manchester United are still struggling to kill off games under new manager David Moyes.
It has been evident throughout this season that United have struggled to dominate and overpower their opponents like they have in the past. I understand this is a byproduct of a new manager. But when in the lead, particularly by a single goal, they need to put the game to bed and claim the three points at an earlier stage.
There is almost an inevitable feeling right now at Old Trafford that in the last 10 minutes, United will be in some nervy situations where they may fail to secure victory. It was most obvious against Southampton in the Premier League. You could just see it coming, from a mile off. The performance wasn’t bad, but the chances created weren’t being taken and it cost them dearly.
Against Sociedad, it was nearly the same case, but they got let off the hook this time. It is this failure to take chances that may cost them again in the future.
They need to close out games. United have the quality and experience, but the concentration levels have been slipping and it means when they get into that final third, they almost forget to seal a move off. They become sloppy. Wayne Rooney, who performed very well against Sociedad, was a culprit of this. He found himself in a great position late on, but instead recognizing the importance of a second goal, he went for a powerful effort that was sliced poorly wide.
He immediately recognized that it would have been a crucial goal as his reaction showed almost embarrassment as well as regret.
David Moyes stated that United could have scored five or six, and he is right. However, that has been the case on various occasions this season, and ‘could have’ is not good enough, or perhaps just not enough to be a consistently ruthless side. It’s perhaps easy to say it, but it needs to sorted out soon. Holding on to a victory is a strength and they showed that on Wednesday, but when you have chances at this level to seal a win, you have to take them.
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