By Editor Wayne Veysey
Van Gaal on the brink
This defeat to the Danish minnows might not be the lowest moment of Louis van Gaal’s wretched reign – there is so much competition – but it certainly felt like it as the hosts secured the biggest win in their history. United took the lead but were then over-run by Midtjylland, who had not played for two months and had lost 9-1 on aggregate to Napoli in the group stages. As bad as the result was, the performance by Van Gaal’s team was even worse. They were far too open at the back and were sliced open time and again by the hosts, who soon realised that the reputations of the visitors was far more terrifying than the reality. More problems and more crisis talk around Old Trafford. Should United not turn around this tie at Old Trafford next week, it is hard to see Van Gaal surviving.
United methods are rooted in dark ages
Serious questions need to be asked of Manchester United’s injury prevention methods. When David de Gea was injured in the warm-up, he became the 14th player to be unavailable for selection for this match. That is a quite staggering number and puts into shade the injury crises suffered by the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool this season. Van Gaal admitted at his pre-match briefing that the number of players in the treatment room was “ridiculous” but absolved himself of any blame by claiming “they’re all contact injuries”. Nice try, Louis. But the Dutchman should take a long, hard look in the mirror. He is presiding over injury prevention methods from the Stone Age.
Depay can profit from Rooney absence
The Holland international was the immediate beneficiary of the knee injury that is set to sideline Wayne Rooney for six to eight weeks, as he replaced the skipper in the starting X1. It was a far from convincing performance from Memphis Depay in his favourite left-flank role but he managed to scuff in the opener, which was his fourth European goal of the season.
Romero is a handy deputy to De Gea
A last-minute selection after De Gea’s pre-match injury, the Argentine demonstrated that he is a more than handy deputy to the undisputed No1. His distribution was excellent – much improved from his early season showings – and he made two excellent saves, the pick of which was his 62-minute one to deny Onuachu.
Schneiderlin is not trusted
With Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marouane Fellaini on the 14-man casualty list, Morgan Schneiderlin might have assumed he was nailed on to start alongside Michael Carrick in Denmark. But the £25million signing from Southampton was overlooked in favour of Ander Herrera, who dropped back from his usual advanced role. The Frenchman paid the price for a poor display at Sunderland but he must have been perplexed as the Danish minnows continually created chances from the middle of the park. It was not until the 71-minute mark that he replaced Herrera.