Manchester United could only manage a tepid draw at Dutch club AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday. United were uninspiring and lackluster at the Kyocera stadium in the Hague.
The Red Devils never looked like they would score goals in this match. The game was played on an astroturf pitch that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described as being “the worst pitch that he had ever seen.” United had defended well, but looked unimaginative going forward and that was shown in the statistics. United didn’t have a single shot on goal, and this stretched their run to 10 games without an away win in all competitions.
United have failed to score more than one goal in a game since they began the season with a 4-0 drubbing of Chelsea. Alkmaar was the team that showed attacking intent and were the more likely to score than the visitors. Oussama Idrissi was the player that was the most outstanding player in the game and he and his teammates were good on the night.
Alkmaar striker Myron Boadu first-half goal was ruled offside, and Idrissi took a shot that David De Gea saved. Idrissi also had another chance when he took a cracking shot that De Gea punched away. Even though United tried to show some attacking intent by bringing on Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay they still couldn’t score. Rashford’s penalty shout for a foul against him in the box by Stijn Wuytens was turned down by the referee, and it seemed like a clear penalty.
United’s best effort came courtesy of Lingard with his dipping shot that went just wide. But he went off the pitch limping with an injury. United continues to struggle offensively and I think that Solskjaer should play Mason Greenwood upfront with Anthony Martial when he returns from injury. Let’s hope that Martial can help to solve some of our offensive issues.
When Luke Shaw returns he will also give us that extra attacking impetus that we need right now. The left-back loves to make runs forward into the opposition’s box and take shots at goal or put dangerous crosses into the box. It would be great to see him and Daniel James combine on the left-wing, and if there is any chemistry between them then they would give teams many problems. We need everyone back healthy especially Shaw and Martial.