By 90Min
October 02, 2018

Manchester United's miserable season continued as they played out a dour 0-0 draw with Valencia at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening.

United were off the pace from the first whistle and were held by a Valencia side who gave as good as they got on the night.

The first 45 minutes were remarkably uneventful with neither keeper having to get his gloves dirty. Both sides were slow in possession and looked bereft of ideas in the final third.

Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Unfortunately for both sets of supporters, the second half was little better. Neto was called into action on a couple of occasions, saving well from Paul Poga and Romelu Lukaku. 

Marcus Rashford went close late on with a fierce free-kick from a tight angle that kissed the crossbar, before Lukaku missed a golden chance to win the game with a free header just minutes from time.

Here's our breakdown of this one.


Key Talking Point

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It is almost impossible to figure out what the game plan was for Manchester United tonight. The list of things wrong with their performance was genuinely endless: They were slow on the ball, they were uninspired in the final third and they were simply lacking the necessary required of a side competing in the Champions League.

If Mourinho was looking for a response after the turgid display against West Ham on Saturday then he definitely didn't find one. None of his players looked as though they were out on the pitch for any reason other than to earn a pay check.

It seems only a matter of time before the Portuguese manager is packing his bags and is on his way out of Manchester.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: De Gea (6); Valencia (5), Bailly (5), Smalling (6), Shaw (4); Fellaini (4), Matic (4), Pogba (5); Rashford (6), Sanchez (5), Lukaku (3).

Substitutes: Martial (6).

Star Man - It is really concerning when your best player appeared to be the one who tried the hardest, but such was the lack of quality on show for United.

Marcus Rashford looked relatively sharp, especially in the opening exchanges, but as the game wore on he cut an increasingly frustrated figure out wide and was not being helped at all by the sluggish midfield behind him.

If Mourinho wants to get the best out of the youngster, he may be wise to deploy him in a more central role.

Worst Player - Where to start? 

Any number of players could have easily been declared the worst player on the park for United, with almost no-one covering themselves in any sort of glory. One of the chief culprits on the night was Romelu Lukaku, whose lack of finesse in front of goal was far too evident.

The highlight of his night came when he managed to tackle himself whilst attempting a step-over in the first half, which tells you everything you need to know. 


Key Talking Point

Earning a point at Old Trafford is nothing to be sniffed at, but Valencia may just be kicking themselves for not being a little more dynamic in attack.

The Spanish side (and in particular Goncalo Guedes) had plenty of decent looking opportunities, but made the wrong decision on too many occasions.

Michael Regan/GettyImages

This provides an obvious explanation as to why they aren't scoring enough goals in La Liga this season but, as the old cliche goes, you should worry more if you aren't creating the opportunities in the first place.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Neto (7); Piccini (6), Garay (6), Paulista (6), Gaya (6); Coquelin (5), Parejo (7), Kondogbia (8*), Guedes (5); Rodrigo (6), Batshuayi (6).

Substitutes: Gameiro (6), Soler (5), Cheryshev (N/A).

Star Man - If you knew nothing about Paul Pogba and Geoffrey Kondogbia prior to the match, then you would be forgiven for thinking that the Valencia man was the one who inspired his country to glory earlier this summer.

Kondogbia, a player who couldn't even get into the French World Cup squad, was outstanding for Valencia in the centre of the park.

He covered an awful lot of ground, was economic with the ball at his feet and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time to mop any any danger in his defensive third.  

Worst Player - If Guedes hadn't been quite so wasteful up top, Valencia may have nicked a winning goal.

The Portuguese winger looked a real threat throughout as he found himself in acres of space out wide on the left flank on a number of occasions.

Ultimately his final ball was lacking and it may well have cost his side two points.

Looking Ahead

Manchester United will now be looking ahead to Saturday's Premier League fixture against winless Newcastle United, which has now become, if it wasn't already, a must win game.

As for Valencia, they have the unenviable task of travelling to the Nou Camp to face league leaders Barcelona, perhaps buoyed by the fact that Barca are without a win from their previous three league matches.

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