Erik ten Hag & Bruno Fernandes preview Omonia
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Manchester United managed to recover from a shaky start to beat Omonia in Thursday’s Europa League clash in Cyprus. Karim Ansarifard gave the hosts a shock lead in the first half – but goals from Marcus Rashford (x2) and Anthony Martial gave the visitors all three points. It was a poor performance from Erik ten Hag’s side in truth, however, so Express Sport will now take a look at four players who can count themselves lucky in the aftermath of the defeat.
United saw Jadon Sancho start to turn a corner after the England international netted in a 2-1 win over Liverpool at the end of August.
He was also on target as the Red Devils got the better of Leicester shortly afterwards.
However, in recent weeks, Sancho has started to regress again.
The United star was virtually anonymous amid the heat of the battle in Cyprus, with the former Borussia Dortmund star easily nullified by Adam Matthews before being withdrawn at the interval.
United spent £73million on Sancho just over a year ago and, 12 months on, they’re still waiting to get bang for their buck.
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United signed Tyrell Malacia back in the summer, with the 23-year-old arriving from Feyenoord.
But while he initially impressed, he’s now endured two torrid games in succession.
Malacia was dreadful against Manchester City on Sunday, with Ten Hag then hooking him at half-time as a result.
And he was at fault against Omonia, with his mistake allowing Ansarifard to open the scoring – with the left-back then suffering the same fate.
It’s time for Ten Hag to now reinstate Luke Shaw to the team, with the England international waiting in the wings and ready to step in.
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Bruno Fernandes has been out of sorts for some time, now.
And the Portugal international was another anonymous performer as United crashed to one of the most humiliating defeats in their entire history.
Fernandes wears the armband in the absence of Harry Maguire these days, with the England star sidelined through injury.
But, like his team-mate, there are genuine concerns over whether he’s good enough to skipper the side on a weekly basis.
Fernandes has gone right off the boil for United, which gives Ten Hag yet another problem to solve.
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United fans have had to wait to see Casemiro in action.
The Brazil international has started just once match since joining from Real Madrid back in the summer, with Scott McTominay often picked instead.
But Casemiro did precious little of note throughout the showdown in Cyprus.
Obviously, it will take time for the 30-year-old to earn Ten Hag’s trust and win his place in the United side.
But the early indications are he’ll be more of a flop than hit, with the Samba star yet to get going in his new surroundings.
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Man Utd’s next five fixtures
Manchester United fans won’t have long to wait to see their team in action again.
They lock horns with Everton on Sunday, with the reverse fixture against tonight’s opponents Omonia then taking place next Thursday.
On October 16 and October 19, the Red Devils face Newcastle and Tottenham respectively.
And, on October 22, they’ll do battle with Chelsea.
United will need to be better than tonight, however, if they’re to boost their chances of finishing in the top four and having a successful season.
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