Manchester United need to rediscover killer instinct!
United travel to Transylvania, the supposedly vampire-filled setting of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, for their second Group H fixture on the back of a disappointing 3-2 home defeat against Tottenham on Saturday that left them four points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.
It was United’s first loss to Spurs at Old Trafford for 23 years and their first Premier League defeat against the north London club in 23 meetings, but far more concerning was the sloppy manner of the defending by Alex Ferguson’s side.
Of their six matches so far, United have been behind in five, while they have kept just one clean sheet and conceded nine goals, leading French left-back Evra to fear his team could suffer even greater embarrassment against Cluj unless they show more mental strength.
“The game is 90 minutes long and we deserved to lose because we only played for 45. To concede three goals at Old Trafford is not good enough,” Evra said.
“The problem is in our heads. It looked like we stayed in the hotel. The first 45 minutes had no speed, no focus, we didn’t win a lot of challenges and we conceded some silly goals.
“Maybe I am hard with myself and the team but we only showed the United face in the second half.
“We still have a lot to do, but we have to forget that first half against Spurs.
“I hope it was just an accident and we can get back the winning mentality that we showed in the second half in our first Champions League game against Galatasaray.”
On paper United’s encounter with the Romanian champions looks exactly the kind of undemanding fixture that should allow Ferguson’s side to restore their equilibrium with a morale-boosting win.
- Evra: We deserved to lose (standard.co.uk)
- National Sport: Evra: We deserved to lose (coventrytelegraph.net)
- Manchester United vs. Tottenham: 6 Things We Learned (bleacherreport.com)