United’s makeshift midfield lasted less than an hour then, and they’ve now resorted to another one. Fulham are still in control and if they keep their cool defensively will fancy their chances of seeing this one out. United need a moment of magic from somewhere.
This has been so frustrating to watch. Whenever there is a glimpse of an opening, United find a way to waste it and kill their own momentum. Fernandes has played poorly and taken too many risks with his passing approach. It is something he can usually afford to do, but he needs to play a bit safer without the creativity of Casemiro behind him.
At least six United subs have warmed up now. They have had better first halves than this one and Ten Hag has made a change. Martinez, unsurprisingly, is the only one bar Rashford who has imposed themselves. Ten Hag seems to have made a misjudgement with the midfield for the second week running.
He’ll have known United were up against an accomplished pair in Reed and Plhinha and you can see the thinking of having McTominay in with Sabitzer as the sitter but it is counter-productive to have Fred on the bench when he should be an automatic pick in the absence of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen. United have missed his energy and pressing in what has been a lifeless performance.
Rashford has been the only creator in red. Sancho has not got into tha game at all again and seems to have next to no understanding with Wan-Bissaka, who is playing certain passes as though blindfolded.