Manchester United fans must have felt a sense of déjà vu as they watched their team concede two early goals against Everton on Saturday. The Red Devils have made a habit of starting games poorly this season, and it cost them dearly at Old Trafford.
Everton took advantage of United’s sloppy defending and lack of intensity to score twice in the opening 12 minutes. The first goal came from a corner, as Michael Keane headed in unmarked from close range.
The second goal was even worse, as Bruno Fernandes gave the ball away cheaply in midfield and Everton broke quickly, with Abdoulaye Doucoure finishing off a simple move.
United were stunned and shell-shocked by Everton’s fast start. They looked disjointed and disorganised, unable to cope with the visitors’ pace and movement. They also lacked creativity and urgency in attack, struggling to break down Everton’s compact defence.
This was not the first time that United have fallen behind early in a game this season. In fact, they have conceded the first goal in 11 of their 25 Premier League matches so far, more than any other team in the top half of the table.
They have also conceded 10 goals in the first 15 minutes of games, the most in the league.
While United have shown remarkable resilience and character to come back from behind on several occasions, winning seven and drawing three of those 11 games, their slow starts have also cost them vital points.
They have dropped points against Leicester, Arsenal, Sheffield United and Everton after conceding first, and they have also been knocked out of the Champions League and the Carabao Cup after poor first-half performances.
United’s big problem is that they are not consistent enough. They can produce brilliant displays of attacking football, as they did in the second half against Everton, when they scored three goals and looked like they had won the game.
But they can also switch off and make costly mistakes, as they did in the final minutes, when they allowed Everton to equalise with a last-gasp header.
United need to find a way to start games better, to impose themselves on the opposition from the first whistle, to defend with more concentration and discipline, and to attack with more purpose and intensity.
They need to be more ruthless and relentless, to kill off games when they have the chance, and to avoid complacency and carelessness.
United have shown glimpses of their potential this season, but they have also shown their flaws. They are still in the title race, but they cannot afford to keep giving their rivals an advantage. They need to fix their big problem before it is too late.
Final Thoughts: Manchester United Must Address Slow Starts to Fulfill Their Potential
Manchester United’s inconsistent performances this season have been highlighted by their tendency to start games poorly. The match against Everton was a perfect example of their problems, as they conceded two early goals due to sloppy defending and a lack of intensity.
While United have shown resilience to come back from behind on several occasions, their slow starts have also cost them vital points.
The statistics speak for themselves, as United have conceded the first goal in 11 of their 25 Premier League matches so far, more than any other team in the top half of the table.
Additionally, they have conceded 10 goals in the first 15 minutes of games, the most in the league. These numbers clearly show that United need to address their slow start problem if they want to fulfill their potential and challenge for titles.
The team’s lack of consistency is also an issue. While they can produce brilliant attacking displays, they can also switch off and make costly mistakes, as seen in the final minutes against Everton when they allowed the visitors to equalize.
United need to find a way to defend with more concentration and discipline, and to attack with more purpose and intensity. They must also be more ruthless and relentless to kill off games when they have the chance and avoid complacency and carelessness.
In conclusion, United have shown glimpses of their potential this season, but their slow starts and inconsistent performances have prevented them from being genuine title contenders.
They need to fix their problems before it is too late, starting with improving their intensity and concentration from the opening whistle. Only then can they fulfill their potential and achieve success.