Gary Neville feels that Manchester United were “absolutely ambushed” in midfield against Chelsea.
United were beaten 1-0 by the Premier League champions on Sunday, and you really ought to read 16 Conclusions from the game.
Neville felt that the central midfield of Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera failed to cope at Stamford Bridge, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan similarly struggling.
“I thought they got killed in midfield,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“Jose Mourinho, since the Liverpool game, has talked about not being able to freshen it up. I thought Herrera, Matic and Mkhitaryan got absolutely ambushed.
“(N’Golo) Kante was doing his job brilliantly, (Tiemoue) Bakayoko was running off him, (Eden) Hazard and (Cesc) Fabregas were dropping in and controlling the match. United were just well short in that area. If you dominate midfield in the big games, you’re in business and Chelsea did.
“I think Pogba is a big miss because of his confidence and arrogance. He takes the ball into tight areas, holds the ball, beats a man.
“Michael Carrick, too – he delivers those passes up to strikers, to the side of defenders, and I think those two players would have made a big difference.
“The intent was there but if you haven’t got quality and composure in midfield, you’re going to struggle. Passes weren’t connected, whereas with Chelsea, there was rhythm in their passing. Chelsea had rhythm, United only had moments.
“For me, Fabregas was the man of the match because he got control of the game and that was the difference for me. Chelsea’s midfield gripped this game. I don’t feel Manchester United’s midfield did.”