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'They play like a team of strangers': Scholes slams Man United despite Partizan win

Anthony Martial’s penalty may have given the visitors victory in Serbia but their ex-player was far from impressed with a disjointed showing

Scholes was speaking on BT Sport on Thursday.
Scholes was speaking on BT Sport on Thursday.

PAUL SCHOLES HAS blasted the performance of Red Devils players in their Europa League win over Partizan, describing them as “a team of strangers”.

Anthony Martial’s penalty proved to be the only goal of an encounter in Serbia that ended a 232-streak without an away win but did little to calm worries over the state of play at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future continues to be the subject of intense speculation as United look to rescue what has already turned into their worst Premier League campaign of the modern era.

The visitors only mustered five shots at goal all game, while their hosts managed three times as many in a drab, disjointed performance that represented a step back following their battling draw with Liverpool at the weekend.

Speaking to BT Sport after the match, Scholes, who won 11 top-flight titles and two Champions League crowns during his on-field career, did not hold back in a withering assessment of United’s flow and play either.

“I think after the Liverpool game, there was a little bit of encouragement,” he stated. ”But then you come back to tonight and it seems very similar to the start of the season. 

“It’s like a team of strangers, it’s like they’ve never played with each other before. There’s no link between the midfield players and the strikers. The weight of pass at times was so bad. 

“You want to be encouraged you want to see some bits of good play now and again, a one-two here and there, the number 10 receiving the ball on the half turn, but there’s a lack of encouragement.

“I think defensively they were quite poor as well tonight,’ he added. “Second half there was only one team that looks like scoring. I don’t see anything. A lot of the games they’re going to have the ball but they have to be cleverer.”

United were missing several key faces including Paul Pogba and David de Gea in Serbia, with Harry Maguire handed the captain’s armband for the first time at the back in defence.

Teenager Brandon Williams meanwhile was one of the few positive influences on the game out wide on the left wing, while Marcus Rashford made a late cameo off the bench.

The Red Devils return to domestic action this weekend with a trip to Norwich City, before a Carabao Cup encounter with Chelsea next week.

On the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly, Andy Dunne tells Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey about where it all went wrong for Joe Schmidt’s Ireland

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