Manchester United hosted West Ham on Sunday afternoon in a game they had to really win to keep pace with their title rivals after Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City all ground out wins at the weekend.
It wasn’t the case though and it started so terribly for the home side when Sakho headed in from a Payet cross just 90 seconds into the game. United did equalise from a Ibrahimovic header but there were no more goals in what proved to be United’s fourth consecutive draw at home in the league. One player who stood out for Man Utd on the day was defender Matteo Darmian – but not for playing well.
Darmian was widely praised in his debut season for Manchester United but since then he has really struggled in the Premier League. The fans were not happy at all with his performance on Sunday and it seems the defender has lost his way, with some fans even calling for him not to play for the club again.
West Ham winger Antonio had the beating of Darmian all night. The English midfielder excelled over the Italian both defensively and offensively and the United mans crossing was a cause for particular frustration from the United faithful. Here’s some statistics to back up these thoughts: Darmian was pretty ineffective defensively, making 0 interceptions, 0 blocks and just 3 tackles. Going forward he wasn’t much better, completing 0 dribbles, making 0 key passes, 0 through balls and 0 accurate crosses. Those statistics make for pretty grim reading for the defender and this was certainly not a case of where statistics didn’t tell the whole story because they told the exact story – Darmian was completely useless on the day.
Why is he starting ahead of Luke Shaw after a series of poor performances? This is just one of an artillery of questions that the United fans are now asking. Here’s how the fans reacted on Twitter to his performance.
Don't want Darmian to ever play a game for MUFC
— ∆ (@TheAntonioCross) November 27, 2016
Antonio. Best player on the pitch today – terrorised Darmian all game, endless energy.
— Mr Teee (@MrTeeem) November 27, 2016
How can we still be playing Darmian in 2016? Offered nothing today as usual
— ? (@SO_temini) November 27, 2016
Lingard, FELLAINI and Darmian are TRASH.
Need to be booted out asap.
— Yash Khopkar (@KhopkarYash) November 27, 2016
Manchester United now sit a massive 11 points behind league leaders Chelsea, and with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and even Arsenal also hitting form lately, it may not be unreasonable to already write Mourinho’s men off in the title race. Just 13 games in that is a pretty horrific performance from Mourinho and United. Something needs to change quickly and whilst I don’t for one second place all the blame on Darmian, he certainly appears to be one of a number of problems currently at the club.