The way through Manchester United’s defense since the international break has not been the middle.
That stayed true Sunday when Paul Pogba conceded a penalty as the lone goal in United’s 1-0 loss to Arsenal, a game which saw Harry Maguire and the defense look a lot more like their better reputations.
With apologies to Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta, neither PSG, Chelsea, Leipzig, nor Arsenal has been able to get past Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, and David De Gea. The only goals United has allowed in the past four matches were a massive deflection own goal and Sunday’s penalty.
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Maguire was especially good Sunday. He won all but one of his 12 duels passed at over 90 percent, and He even led United in shots, which is another problem altogether.
It’s no comfort to the captain.
“It’s hard to put your finger on it,” Maguire said after the game. “It was disappointing from us. We didn’t start the game well and gave the ball away far too much in the first half. It was a cagey game, a game of few chances. They probably a bit more chances than us.
United used a diamond midfield like it did in a midweek defeat of RB Leipzig but Arsenal’s Thomas Partey dominated that idea and United couldn’t find an answer.
“We thought we were confident going into the game,” Maguire said. “It was important to start the game well. We just gave the ball away too much. If you’re playing any Premier League game and give the ball away as much as we did, you’re not going to win games of football.
United is winless at home in the Premier League this season, taking one point from 12 against Crystal Palace, Tottenham, Chelsea, and Arsenal.
That’s not an easy run of visitors, but this is also Manchester United.
“We haven’t won in the league at Old Trafford this season.” Maguire said. “It’s disappointing, we want teams to have a tough time coming here.”
🗣"It is hard to put a finger on it"
Harry Maguire reflects on Manchester United's 1-0 defeat to Arsenal pic.twitter.com/dsOtxIdI5X
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 1, 2020