What looked set to be a tightly contested affair turned out to be Mourinho’s most embarrassing defeat in his Premier League Managerial career as Manchester United was utterly dismantled and dominated by Chelsea on a mild Sunday afternoon.
The Red Devils succumbed to a disheartening 4-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge which in turn, has raised doubts about their title credentials despite having accumulated one of the highest net spends this season.
Having turned on the style at the start of the season, United looks to have switched off, as they currently sit in 7th place in the league standings. It’s too early to write United off as far as the title race is concerned, but at the moment they appear to be outsiders for the Premier League crown.
A significant fraction of United’s players has put in underwhelming displays thus far. The likes of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jesse Lingard seem to be off their game, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan (last season’s Bundesliga player of the year) is yet to make his mark.
Paul Pogba is evidently the most noticeable amongst the names above, why? Well, there are 89 million ways to answer that question.
The former Juventus man hasn’t lived up to the billing at Old Trafford with his best displays coming in the Europa League and the EFL Cup against considerably weaker sides.
We keep hearing “it’s only a matter of time before Pogba clicks” but what if he doesn’t though? What if United can’t find consistency and fall by the wayside before the season starts to shape up – it’s a tad unlikely but not impossible.
Ibrahimovic is another player that’s supposed to be decisive for United this season, but his presence has hardly been felt in the attacking third.
With just four goals to his name so far and a goal drought that seems to be growing as each game passes, is the 35-year-old Swede really what Manchester United needs up front?
Mourinho took a cautious approach away at Liverpool, and it earned his side a point against an in-form side. A similar style of play was apparently set to be utilised at Stamford Bridge, but Pedro’s first-minute strike thwarted United’s game plan.
For a side that boasts of a talented group of players, United have found it hard to dominate the opposition in recent times hence Mourinho needs to go back to the drawing board.
With the Manchester derby just around the corner (League Cup) and a game against a resilient Burnley side(EPL) following shortly after, it’s fair to say Mourinho has his work cut out for him.
The fixtures against Manchester City and Burnley will prove to be extensive tests for Manchester United as Guardiola’s side are in dire need of a win while the Clarets won’t be keen on rolling over against the Red Devils.
Manchester United might struggle against Burnley seeing as Sean Dyche’s side sits deep in their half more often than not while waiting for the right moment to launch a counter attack.
United’s next game against Burnley is evidently a must-win fixture as a loss could see the Red Devils drop to 11th place on the table and the Manchester outfit could all but go downhill from there.