Manchester United’s goalscoring issues continued on Saturday afternoon in a frustrating 0-0 draw against Watford. Old Trafford was treated to plenty of nice attacking movement and chance creation, but multiple great chances were missed by United’s players. Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo both missed multiple good opportunities, with Elanga dragging one of his own just wide of the target. In the end the points will be split, and United fail to build on their win over Leeds as they push for Champions League qualification.
The game started in very promising fashion with Ronaldo hitting the upright in the opening minutes, but in hindsight it only set the tone for what was to come. He’d have another chance missed, and Bruno Fernandes laid out for a cross only to mis-hit it with Foster diving the other way. Alex Telles had a decent attempt from a free kick as well, thankfully taken away from Ronaldo, but his shot went just wide of the top corner.
It’s pretty safe to say considering how things looked and looking at xG that United probably should have been 2-0 up in the first half hour, but no one had the finishing touch on the day.
Man Utd (2.53) 0-0 (0.51) Watford— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) February 26, 2022
The poor finishing continued into the second half, with Ronaldo missing another, Elanga seeing a chance go wide after excellent work in build up to create the shot, and even Aaron Wan-Bissaka got on the end of a cross only to head it wide of goal. Ralf Rangnick made substitutes, bringing on Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford in place of Nemanja Matic and Fred respectively, but adding more forwards didn’t fix anything. In fact, it also allowed Watford room to create some scary counter attacking opportunities. The back line and De Gea were rarely tested, but it didn’t matter much with United unable to score.
Up next United face Manchester City in a match that will likely not present as many opportunities to score. Anthony Elanga, Paul Pogba, and Bruno Fernandes had everything but the finish performances, Ronaldo was crap, and the midfield control/defensive stability should be expected against a team like Watford. They’ll simply have to do better.