Man Utd fought to get a point against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening..
Exactly how much a difference 10 weeks could make!
With only seventy days since Manchester United last went to the city, the full time scenes couldn’t have been a lot more contrasting. Possibly conscious of the 4 – 0 humiliation they encountered at the Gtech Community Stadium against Brentford as the team bus made its way through the west London streets, United’s players might have been forgiven for experiencing the nerves because Stamford Bridge crept into view..
However a great deal had changed since United’s last trip to London which was blindingly apparent to everybody that watched Saturday’s teatime kick off against Chelsea. Just after Casemiro’s 94th minute equaliser saved a place to keep the Reds within touching distance of the top four, a heap of bodies risked smashing the Brazilian, while Lisandro Martinez was spotted hugging a total stranger in the front of the away end. It meant a lot..
United players approached an away end in the capital the first time they had been heckled and on the receiving end of a barrage of anger and abuse from people brave enough to remain till the last whistle. The moments at Stamford Bridge couldn’t have been distinct from those at Brentford, so much so that United’s supporters would have lifted Casemiro high in the air and paraded him all over the away side if they could have done so.
United might have folded as well as fell after falling behind Jorginho’s 87th minute penalty. The United of the past might have accomplished, but not anymore..
The squad these days has a feeling of trust as well as determination incorporated in it, and Erik 10 Hag, who tactically got the better of his adversary number, Graham Potter, is accountable for that. He has ingrained in his players a never – say – die mindset, and their recent victories over Chelsea and Everton in their previous two Premier League away matches have demonstrated that they are living up to his standards.
Casemiro’s last gasp header in the Shed End of Stamford Bridge pushed United to the top of the table at the moment as points acquired away from home from losing positions are concerned. The Reds have gathered four points from losing positions on the road already this season, when compared with the 5 they managed in the whole of last season.
United had been 1 – 0 down only 5 minutes into their 2 – 1 victory over Everton two weeks ago, but did not roll over and admit defeat just like they did on a number of occasions last season, turning the game on its head by the interval. After that they made it through a late barrage of assaults by remaining firm and determined enough to see the game through.
Both Europa League matches against Omonia Nicosia prompted United to display level of character and fighting spirit. They’d to come from behind to win 3 2 in Cyprus before being forced to go till the last whistle before locating a way beyond an inspired Francis Uzoho in the existing Trafford match to secure the points. Like the draw with Chelsea, both victories offered evidence that United are a new beast under 10 Hag.
United have been a hurt animal last season, when they fell behind in 12 of the 18 Premier League matches they had been behind. They’ve accumulated 10 points from losing positions when compared with the 4 they’ve actually received this season out of this kind of positions.
Even though no team would like to come from behind, United’s current attempts to come from a losing position can’t be dismissed. They’ve displayed lots of mental strength and character, proving that Ten Hag has embedded a brand new sense and mindset of character within the team.
10 Hag has often talked about the need for his players to have the proper mindset from the start of the Old Trafford tenure.
Following the loss at Brentford, the Dutchman stated : “I think I made it clear, I was unquestionably not pleased. It is possible to discuss football philosophy, but it must be great at the fundamental level.
“That begins with the proper mindset, the fighting mindset on the pitch,” he said. I did not notice that from minute one. You need to have it every game..
It begins with you. Stick to the guidelines and concepts, work tirelessly and act as a group. You gain self – confidence when you do this. ”
A great deal has changed since that pitiful, hot, sun drenched August night against Brentford and the scenes at full time at Stamford Bridge on Saturday confirmed it. United turned out to be one under 10 Hag and you have the impression this might be the beginning of something very special..
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