Roy Keane questions 'poor' Edinson Cavani as Man United's biggest weakness strikes again
'I thought Cavani was poor, I'm surprised he left him on for the full game.'
Roy Keane was critical of Ralf Rangnick's decision to leave striker Edinson Cavani on for the full game as Manchester United threw away a two-goal lead to draw with Aston Villa.
Though Keane had a valid point on the veteran striker playing the full 90 minutes, it was United's biggest weakness - their porous midfield - that came back to haunt them.
Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring for United when Emiliano Martínez somehow allowed the midfielder's strike to pass through his legs and, despite his best efforts, he was not able to stop it trickling over the line.
The Portugal international - who was captain in the absence of Harry Maguire - doubled the Red Devils' lead in the 67th minute with a spectacular strike.
However, Steven Gerrard's side pulled a goal back 10 minutes later when academy graduate Jacob Ramsey fired past David de Gea into the roof of the net, following some good work from substitute Philippe Coutinho, who was making his first appearance for Villa since joining on loan from Barcelona.
The home side completed the comeback in the 81st minute when Coutinho - scoring on his debut - finished past De Gea after Ramsey delivered an inviting cross along the box.
With Cristiano Ronaldo out injured, Rangnick opted to utilise Cavani as a lone striker - but the Uruguayan struggled to hold the ball up and failed to offer a goal threat throughout the tie.
🗣 "We saw the weaknesses in United. Cavani was poor, I'm surprised he left him on for the full game."
Roy Keane gives a lot of credit to Aston Villa but says its hard to ignore the problems with Man United pic.twitter.com/348LWWCETM
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 15, 2022
Roy Keane questions why 'poor' Cavani wasn't substituted
Speaking on Sky Sports after the game, Keane questioned why the 34-year-old wasn't substituted after a 'poor' performance. He said:
"United get 2-0 in front and you think 'It's game over', but then we saw the weaknesses in United, that lack of control, particular in midfield.
"When you open yourself up against United, they can rip you apart, but United weren't quite at it with the counter-attack. I thought Cavani was poor, I'm surprised he left him on for the full game."
When asked how much of a concern United throwing away two-goal lead was, he added: "It just shows you their shortcomings, I've always said the table doesn't lie.
"There's still quality [in the squad], we saw that today, but there's still weaknesses.
"When we look back at the goals form Villa, they were running past people and people were just falling by the wayside, there was not aggression, United looked tired in the second half, they looked quite weak in midfield."
Weak in midfield. That has been the case with United for quite a while now. Two from Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay are not going to cut it.
United travel to Brentford on Wednesday night having won just one of their last four Premier League fixtures.
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