Manchester United returned to England with a point after their trip to Ukraine saw the Premier League winners end with a 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League group match.
Danny Welbeck opened the scoring in the first half for David Moyes after Marouane Fellaini provided his first assist for United, with a little help from Yaroslav Rakitskiy. However, the defender then made a brilliant run in the second half in setting up Taison score the equaliser for the Ukrainian champions.
Soccer Souls will take a look at three things we learnt from United’s 1-1 draw to Shaktar on Wednesday evening in the Champions League clash.
1. Vidic is still the main man for United in back four, Ferdinand’s nearing his end
United skipper Nemanja Vidic is the main man in the back four after the Serbian had an impressive performance in the Red Devils’ back four in restricting Shaktar from breaking his side’s defence easily.
Chris Smalling was his partner in the central defending position, but had an off-form performance. However, with Vidic to provide cover, the England international’s mistakes were hardly too expensive for United.
Moyes is likely to field Jonny Evans alongside Vidic with Smalling being as the backup at the central defending position. The former Everton manager also has the services of Phil Jones and Rio Ferdinand in the same position, with the latter’s position at the club now looking relatively slim.
The former Leeds United defender’s contract runs down at the end of the season and Moyes is likely to bring in reinforcement to strengthen his central defending position.
2. Fellaini has still a lot to improve
Fellaini was seen giving away the ball cheaply throughout the game, which saw United lose most of their possession which they tried to retain during the first half. The Belgium international was playing in the attacking position, with Michael Carrick playing as the holding midfielder.
The former Everton midfielder was also waiting for the tackles go in his favour, but the referee did not seem to be interested in doing the same. However, the Belgian was successful in winning the crucial headers, from which he was able to provide an assist to Welbeck to score United’s only goal of the game.
The Belgian was then replaced by Ryan Giggs, who made a record 145th appearance in the Champions League.
3. United scored from open play
United have been struggling in the league since their 4-1 victory over Swansea, the time which has seen them failing to score a single goal from open play. But managed to do so in the Capital One Cup and the Champions League.
Moyes will be hoping that his side could manage to score a goal from open play when United travel to the Stadium of light to face struggling Sunderland in the league this weekend.