This week’s defeat to Everton, in some ways, mirrors the loss to Chelsea last week. In both defeats, United failed to score despite dominating possession time. Controlling the ball has not resulted in many opportunities for Louis Van Gaal’s side.
Everton unveiled a strategy that looked eerily similar to that of Chelsea, who handed United a 1-o loss on April 18th. Both Chelsea and Everton gladly allowed United to possess the ball, instead electing to take their chances with a mean counter-attack. In both games, this strategy has proved successful.
Man-marking Marouane Fellaini has also been a solid tactic for both Everton and Chelsea against United. The Belgian midfielder has been a key component in United’s victories this season. He has proven to be a dangerous attacker when the Red Devils are in the attacking third. Fellini hasn’t had much of an impact in either of the losses as both Everton and Chelsea made an effort to hold him in check.
After consecutive losses, one thing is clear: Louis Van Gaal must adapt. Everton and Chelsea have found a formula to exploit United’s weaknesses. Van Gaal must change something in order to get United back to playing good football.
While the Red Devils are a comfortable seven points ahead of Liverpool for the fourth position in the standings, there is still a month of football remaining and anything can happen in the final stages.