With Park playing as an attacking winger, he looked out of place, failing to find much joy when given opportunities. Therefore, it appears Park, who has a lot to offer a side, may be better off giving his services as a centre midfielder, or a more defensive minded right midfielder; however that is a debate for another day. There just seemed to be a lack of pace and urgency within the United attack, as Benfica scored a much deserved first half goal.
Man United looked unimaginative when unlocking the Benfica back line, whereas when the tables were turned, United looked shaky, with Jonny Evans consistently struggling to outmuscle and dominate a strong and competent Oscar Cardozo. Therefore, signs from this game appear to take issue with the quality depth within United, showing signs of an unimaginative Manchester United that featured often last year, where wins were gained without playing overly well.
Overall, it is important to keep the new players fit, allowing them to continue to build a chemistry with each other, which in turn will lead to further success. The game against Benfica appeared a nuisance for Sir Alex Ferguson, and perhaps should be ignored in the ‘plan’ for this season. The game on Sunday against Chelsea appears to be the first stiff test for this new United side, however should they find success, it could be prove a real advantage as the season progresses.
Something worrying to draw from Wednesday’s performance is that, if there were injuries or absences this season, particularly within the players that drive the side forward, it appears that the pace that United have going forward would reduce should Ryan Giggs or Park Ji-Sung be asked to fill in, potentially hampering the side’s ability to score goals.
However should fitness and injuries fail to hamper the success of the Red Devils, signals at the start of this season suggest that the team of improving further, continually reducing the gap between themselves and last year’s fellow Champions League finalists Barcelona.
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