Manchester United failed to build on their impressive 4-1 victory over Fulham at the weekend by producing a disappointing team performance away at Valencia on Wednesday night.
Although Jose Mourinho’s side were already safely through to the knockout stages, victory would have led to them finishing top of Group H after Juventus suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat away at Young Boys.
Not only that but it would have kept the squad’s confidence high ahead of one of United’s most important fixtures of the season this weekend.
The Red Devils take on title challengers and fierce rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday afternoon; a match which, on paper, looks daunting for Mourinho and his inconsistent group of players.
United head into that fixture as firm underdogs. Offer Mourinho a draw now and he’d snap your hand off.
Marcus Rashford’s late consolation at the Mestalla made the full-time scoreline flattering to United, who were well-beaten by their Spanish opponents.
One player who travelled with the team but suffered a knock in training is midfielder Scott McTominay.
The Scottish midfielder, who Mourinho curiously awarded a trophy last season for being ‘Manager’s Player of the Season’, caused a stir on social media with his Instagram activity after the full-time whistle.
Eagle-eyed United fans noticed that he’d liked an Instagram post which criticised several of his teammates, including Marouane Fellaini, Antonio Valencia and Phil Jones.
“Such a lazy team,” the comment from a United supporter read. “Fellaini is not a [starter]. He’s a super sub so keep him as a sub. Either way he’s more of a defensive player which is something we don’t need. We need to ATTACK. [Antonio] Valencia should be replaced by [Diogo] Dalot crucially and sell Jones.”
In fairness, most United fans would echo those sentiments.
Fellaini, Valencia and Jones, who scored a comical own goal, were all poor against Valencia.
Then again, none of Mourinho’s players emerged from the game with any credit, with the exception of Rashford.
Still, McTominay’s activity is unlikely to go down well inside the Old Trafford dressing room. It’s important the players all stick together.
Of course, there’s a good chance that this was an accidental ‘like’ from McTominay.
But if that is the case, you need to be more careful next time, Scott.