Manchester United fans point out substitution is to blame for conceding late goals
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Manchester United fans have spotted a flaw in their team when it comes to conceding late goals, and think the absence of one man is to blame.
In the space of just over a week, United fans went from thinking they might be in a title race alongside Arsenal and Manchester City to see it all come crashing down.
Having beaten City in the derby, things were looking quite optimistic for Erik ten Hag's team, even if the manager himself was very much trying to temper expectations.
They initially slipped when Michael Olise scored a brilliant free kick, late in the game against Crystal Palace last week, to earn the hosts a point in injury time.
And things went from bad to worse on Sunday, despite Marcus Rashford's excellent first half finish, as they dropped points to league leaders Arsenal.
They would no doubt have taken a draw ahead of kick off, against Mikel Arteta's inform side, and they looked set to share the points until the final moments.
Eddie Nketiah scored in injury time, having equalised after Rashford's strike earlier in the game, to earn Mikel Arteta's side all three points.
Now United fans have spotted the link between the Olise goal and the one from Nketiah, realising that right winger Antony has been subbed off ahead of both goals.
"As much as I get onto Antony, it’s been interesting to see us fall apart twice when he’s been subbed this week," one fan said on social media.
"The whole attack ended when he went off," another added.
A third referenced the fact the left back had more space, saying, "Zinchenko balled when Eriksen moved to his side of the pitch by the way. With Antony he still had someone to worry about."
A fourth believes it's an ongoing problem for them, opining, "We completely lose control of games when he goes off. Not even just those games.
"Villa away and Fulham when he didn't play we had no control on the game. People need to wake up because he's important."
"The thing is on the ball he's not done a great deal of late but his off the ball stuff is generally top. Holds his shape well, presses and gets stuck in just a shame he got booked or think he stays on and the outcome is diff," another tweeted.
And a final fan replied, "I keep telling people this. The work he does on that right side defensively is so understated. Plus he always drags 2 defenders with him when he has the ball slowing down the game thus ensuring more control."
Ten Hag has often brought on an extra midfielder for a winger and moved Bruno Fernandes out wide, late in games, and that's what he did in both last week's games.
With Casemiro suspended for the Arsenal game, the visitors finished the match with the much maligned 'McFred' pairing in midfield.
Roy Keane was criticial of the pair, as well as two more United players who started the game, suggesting they needed to be replaced to make the team competitive.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Football, Premier League, Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Antony