One of the biggest problems for Manchester United’s interim manager, or even the interim’s interim, is that certain players have got into so many bad habits under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that the flaws cannot be swiftly erased. Meaning when Ronaldo loses the ball – which happens, even to the best of them – and Juan Foyth skips around Anthony Martial to bring it out from the back, Martial shows all the enthusiasm for the chase that an aged, arthritic bloodhound might for a thrown stick.
He doesn’t want to run anymore; he wants to be left alone. Later, put away on the left, Martial showed none of the pace that was once a great asset, doing a poor impersonation of a player who wanted to get a cross in, rather than delivering the real thing. He got there, just, but it took a little too much effort and he didn’t have the ball under control, failing to keep it in play. Entering the final minute, Ronaldo set off on the counter finding Rashford and Fernandes, who moved the ball on to Sancho. He had a good game. Hard graft in the first-half, hard to contain in the second. This was his first goal for the club, the shot thundering off the underside of the bar, a real looker of a goal. It was no more than his performance deserved.