Another Saturday slumber as Reds’ frontline flops again
Was it really less than three weeks ago that Manchester United became the first team since 2009 to beat Juventus away from home in European competition? It seems a lot, lot longer.
That victory in Turin stands out as a high point in a season of wobbles for United. Yet the momentum that might have been gained from such an important victory feels as if it has been squandered in the two matches since. United were second best in the Manchester derby that followed, and uninspired as Crystal Palace earned a deserved draw on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho questioned whether his players showed enough “heart” in the immediate aftermath of the Palace match, and warned that a similar performance against Young Boys in the Champions League tomorrow would not bring a victory. Failure to beat the Swiss champions would put United’s place in the knockout stages at risk.
If they did not reach the last 16, Mourinho would suddenly be back under the kind of pressure that looked as if it might cost him his job in early October. For the sake of their season, and their manager, United need to regain their Juventus form, and quickly.