OPINION: Poor finishing is only one of Manchester United’s problems on away days

Manchester United lost last night when they traveled to Brighton, which means they still have work to do to place among the top four in the Premier League.

In order to qualify for the Champions League for the upcoming season in light of the late loss, Erik ten Hag’s team will need to win three of their final five games.

Brighton’s victory furthered United’s appalling road performance this year.

Any of United’s trips to the top 9 Premier League teams have resulted in a loss.

The only point earned against teams in the majority of the top half of the division was the recent 2-2 draw at Tottenham.

Along the way, there have also been some devastating losses; in the local derby, City destroyed six, but Liverpool outdid them at Anfield by scoring seven unanswered.

In the eight games, United have given up an astounding 28 times while failing to score in half of them.

Furthermore, United’s collapse in hostile circumstances during a disastrous away performance in Seville put an end to advancement in Europe.

OPINION: Poor finishing is only one of Manchester United's problems on away days

If Ten Hag is serious about mounting a title challenge next season, the team’s capacity to perform under pressure in the face of hostile environments must be quickly improved.

Even more puzzling is the fact that nearly the same group of players set a club record unbeaten run away from home when fans were not allowed in stadiums, which makes United’s away record in big games since fans were allowed back into stadiums after the COVID pandemic look terrible.

United became just the fourth team in Premier League history to go an entire season unbeaten away from home during the 2020–21 campaign.

According to this season’s statistics, United’s defensive problems are primarily attributable to goals allowed away from home. Ten Hag’s team has allowed 32 goals away from home, compared to a league-low of 8 when playing at home.

Individual errors have contributed to United’s inability to keep clean sheets away from Old Trafford, with home teams’ high presses often catching players off guard when playing out from the back.

Goalkeeper David de Gea has come under fire for repeatedly turning the ball over in potentially dangerous areas of the field during attacks due to his inability to find the right pass.

OPINION: Poor finishing is only one of Manchester United's problems on away days

United will undoubtedly need to find a way to stop making individual errors and get better at maintaining possession of the ball under pressure in their own half if they want to keep playing this way under Ten Hag.

Luke Shaw emphasized the necessity of United being more proficient in front of goal in away games following last night’s defeat.

Last night on the south coast, had United not missed a number of excellent chances in the first half, they might have been in the lead going into the break.

The missed opportunities served only to emphasize how badly United needs a top-tier center-forward who can finish off the chances his team is creating and relieve pressure on the back line.

Erik ten Hag is hoping that the addition of a world-class striker, along with another preseason and additional work on the practice field, will change the outlook for United’s road performance next season.

Igbo Kennedy

Igbo Kennedy

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