Paul Ince: How can anyone be satisfied with that Man United performance?

Pogba, Lukaku and Rashford didn't show up, says Incey

Paul Pogba Romelu Lukaku


I heard what Rio Ferdinand said about how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be satisfied with Man United’s performance against Barcelona. I can’t say I agree.

Barcelona weren’t great, yes, but Man United were at home in the Champions League. How can you say you’d be satisfied with that performance? They didn’t have a shot on target, in the whole game, at home! I wouldn’t be happy with that.

They’d nullified Lionel Messi, and Barcelona were there for the taking. If you take Messi out of the side, they’re not an incredible team at the minute. The United crowd were brilliant last night, you could tell that they could sense that the players could win it, if they got going.

Would I be satisfied? Not at all. Ole might be thankful that it was only 1-0, and they’re still in the tie, but that’s about it. Barcelona on the other hand, turned up, kept a clean sheet and take it to the Nou Camp now – they’ll be satisfied ones.

Romelu Lukaku Man United

Pogba, Lukaku and Rashford didn’t turn up – it’s a sad sight when United don’t have a shot on target at home

The big players didn’t even turn up for United last night.

You’ve got to have a go at Barcelona, what are you scared for? They gave them far too much respect. On the night, you’re looking at the so-called big players like Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku to make something happen. You look at those to get the team going – and it didn’t materialise.

Another off day for Pogba, which I didn’t expect considering how he’s been playing and Lukaku once again looked incapable of scoring a goal. He spent most of his time out on the wing, he just needs to play between the two goal posts. What use is Lukaku out on the wing? It doesn’t make sense to me.

Anthony Martial came on and had zero impact. These are the kinds of players you look to change the game in such an important match, and it’s disappointing they couldn’t. I would say that defensively they looked good, and Scott McTominay was brilliant, he was assured and comfortable and looked ready for the occasion. He relished in that position, and was easily the best United player on the pitch. He was a plus side of the game.

But it was disappointing. They never had a go at Barcelona or tried to, in such a massive game where the fans are up for it. It’s a sad sight that at Old Trafford, in the Champions League, United aren’t having a shot on target.

That Barcelona team were probably expecting a different performance from United. They’d have been expecting that resurgent Ole side who come at you from the off, that get in your faces, but that didn’t materialise.

You know what you’re getting with Ashley Young

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Ashley Young, with the sending off against Wolves and his poor performance against Barcelona. But the fact is, you know what you’re getting with him.

He’s a senior player, a great pro that has been at United for years, and it’s not fair to make him a scapegoat now. He’s the James Milner of Man United. But the fact is, as you get older it gets more difficult.

He’s no spring chicken, so you’re going to have appearances where you’re not at your best, and that’s what we’re seeing with him now. But he’s still a leader, he talks and gives 100%. He was no worse than anyone else on Wednesday, but fans like to have someone to blame.

This is Liverpool’s year

A few weeks ago, I said that by this stage we’d know who’s going to win the Premier League because Man City and Liverpool would be dropping points. But, the fact is, neither of them are. In 1993 when I won the league with Man United, there were defining moments in that season. The Fergie Time win over Sheffield Wednesday for example, we knew then that the title was ours.

I sense that now with Liverpool. They’re not absolutely blowing teams away, they’re just having defining moments and decisions on their side. Against Everton when Jordan Pickford made that mistake, or against Fulham with the penalty, or Shane Long’s mistake last week.

Things are happening for them, that make me believe it’s their year.

Decisions are falling for them, and that’s what you need in the title race. You need those decisions and the luck on your side. Liverpool aren’t even playing particularly well in the league, it’s scrappy to watch, but the end result is still the same – three points.

They have got to go on and win it now. Chelsea is a crucial game for them because of previous memories they’ve had in the title charge. I honestly believe Liverpool will win it this season. Everything is on their side.

Liverpool are 11/8 to win the PL this year | Utd are 33/1 to win the Champions League this year

What do you think?