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Post by Admin on Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:03 am

The attacking duo were far from their best, with the Red Devils skipper
particularly disappointing, but albeit unconvincing, Louis van Gaal's side still
made it two wins from two
COMMENT By Kris Voakes at Villa Park
Six months after he last started for Manchester United, Adnan Januzaj was
the hero against Aston Villa on Friday night as a second consecutive 1-0
win took them momentarily to top of the Premier League.
But the nature of United’s football at the moment is nowhere near as
convincing as their place at the summit might suggest. A return of just
three shots on target in 180 minutes of football will rarely earn a side six
points as it has United so far in 2015-16.
Besides Januzaj’s neatly-taken finish from an excellent Juan Mata through-
ball there was little else to write home about when it came to United’s play
in the final third. While they enjoyed plenty of possession, it rarely looked
likely to provide a springboard to a huge win.
Louis van Gaal admitted afterwards that he wasn’t entirely happy, and it is
clear to see why.
"When you score more than your opponent, it’s enough. But I think we had
too many unnecessary ball losses. That wasn’t just Januzaj but also Depay
and Rooney, so we have to improve that," admitted the manager.
There is a clear need for something different in the final third from what
United have so far been able to provide in their two 1-0 successes.
Memphis Depay was switched to his more natural left side at Villa Park,
with Januzaj getting the nod in the centre as a result. But the Dutchman
had a forgettable night, with a kamikaze free-kick attempt and a failure from
a one-on-one after a wonderful Mata pass summing up his performance.
Wayne Rooney looked no more potent either. Despite starting as the lone
striker, it was his work dropping behind the three attacking midfielders
which did him most credit. At no point did he really turn around the Villa
defenders and appear ready to cause them serious trouble.
To United’s credit they have so far belied the pre-season talk that they
would struggle defensively. Two clean sheets have been fair reward for their
work at the back, with Sergio Romero having the most comfortable of times
so far in goal after being brought in to replace the unsettled David de Gea.
Daley Blind also excelled against what was expected to be a lively and
troubling Villa attack. For a player supposedly playing out of position, he
has looked right at home.
Yet the small successes at the back can only cover the attacking issues so
much, and the arrival of Pedro Rodriguez can barely come soon enough.
There should be pace, flair and guile in this United attack but little of any of
those qualities have so far been on display. The Barcelona man should add
a different dimension, while Van Gaal would do well to reassess the need for
a traditional target man as well.
A win is a win though, and it is far less daunting to be looking to make
such changes with six points on the board than with none. United have
grown a knack for chiselling out victories despite not playing with the pace
and energy that has become their way over a period of many decades.
It is not ‘The United Way’ but it is so far proving to be a winning way

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