Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has assessed the side’s shaky defensive performance in the dramatic 3-2 win against Brighton.
Brighton carved open the Red Devils’ defence with plenty of clear-cut chances, Graham Potter’s side were extremely unlucky to have hit the woodwork a staggering five times.
Chadwick, who came through the ranks before making 39 appearances for United, wasn’t pleased with the ‘lack of cohesion and athleticism’ on display at the back.
The Seagulls constantly threatened Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men with overloads on the flanks that ultimately created massive amounts of space in the channels.
Here’s what Chadwick had to say on United’s defensive frailties:
“It’s been an issue in both games this season, today was particularly more obvious than against Crystal Palace, there’s certainly a lack of cohesion and athleticism.”
“There was so much space in the channels and Brighton exploited it fantastically well, got in great positions, made chances and should really have won the game quite comfortably.”
“United got out of jail in the end, you’d hope that was the kick up the backside they needed, it was a great confidence booster to get those first three points of the season.”
“It will be interesting to see what Ole does in the next game, he’s played with three at the back before, which could fill some of the spaces in the channels that they’re suffering with at the minute.”
Chadwick also reacted to Solskjaer’s post-match comments which suggested that no defenders would be coming in to strengthen the lacklustre backline:
“Something needs to happen, there’s not much talk of a defensive player coming in, it seems more like Jadon Sancho is still the prime target.”
“After the first couple of games it’s certainly given them some food for thought in regards to what Ole does in the next couple of weeks.”
With the recruitment of a centre-back unlikely, it’s clear that Solskjaer either needs to switch to three central defenders, or perhaps opt for Eric Bailly over Victor Lindelof.
This afternoon’s sloppiness at the back makes it five goals conceded from United’s opening two Premier League games, a side with title ambitions simply can’t be leaking goals like this.