Former Manchester United trio Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves were left with mixed feelings after the 1-1 draw with CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, as they were uninspired by the overall performance.
Seydou Doumbia had given the hosts the lead in the first half as he pounced on a rebound after David de Gea had saved Roman Eremenko’s penalty.
However, the Russian giants were forced to settle with a share of the spoils as Anthony Martial atoned for his handball to gift them the spot-kick with a wonderfully-taken header to cancel the opener out.
Although Ferdinand, Scholes and Hargreaves insisted that the result itself was impressive away from home in the Champions League, they were left disappointed with the manner in which United played, particularly in the first half.
Scholes delivered his assessment and bemoaned the lack of creativity, as reported by BT Sport, while Hargreaves believes that the supporters need to see more given the amount of money that the club spent in the summer.
Louis Van Gaal’s side lacked ideas and were not an attacking threat at times, and that was mainly due to a lack of willing runners to support Wayne Rooney and create movement for the ball-playing midfielders to expose the CSKA defence.
The video above illustrates that issue clearly as United were forced to play hopeless balls into the box with only Rooney threatening, but that certainly changed in the second half as the likes of Jesse Lingard, Maraoune Fellaini and Martial became a more obvious presence in the box.
United sit second in Group B after the draw as they will prepare for CSKA’s visit to Old Trafford next month, but it remains to be seen whether or not their efficient rather than expansive football for the most part pleases their supporters and former players moving forward.