Gary Neville struggles to explain ‘madness’ of comeback kings Manchester United

Tom Doyle
·3 min read
 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United came from behind to win away from home for the fifth time in the Premier League this season by beating West Ham 3-1 on Saturday - though the performance levels certainly didn’t escape Gary Neville.

United were deservedly 1-0 down at half-time of the Premier League clash in east London, with only West Ham’s poor finishing ensuring the visitors were still in the game at all.

But United rallied after the break as two half-time substitutions from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford - turned the game on its head.

Fernandes set up Paul Pogba for a brilliant leveller after 5 minutes, and Mason Greenwood put United in front three minutes later with a similarly classy finish.

Rashford then sealed the win with a chipped finish 12 minutes from time after being put through on goal by fellow sub Juan Mata - and the result sent United fourth in the table.

Despite the win, former United captain Neville did not hold back throughout the game.

Working as a pundit for Sky Sports, Neville said of United’s first-half performance: "To play this bad and only be 1-0 behind is worthy of celebration."

With Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek replaced at the break, Neville added: "That first half was a different level of bad.

"Van de Beek has been sacrificed but it could have been any of them. They were all awful."

United delivered on their reputation for stirring comebacks away from home, but Neville questioned the mentality of the squad if they can only perform when the going gets tough.

"How you can go from being so bad to so good… regularly?


"For it to continually happen, it is a mentality thing. Do they think they are better than they are? It's almost as if they need a real jolt to perform."

As United climbed into the Champions League qualification places, Neville said of their result: "It's a pretty strange situation when you see that Manchester United team in the first hour and now you see them in the top four and two points off the top of the league.

"It's madness."

And the Old Trafford legend added that a real concern should be that Solskjaer’s side look devoid of ideas without Fernandes playing.

"It's a strange season. There's something about their performances which aren't right for United. Somehow they have to find some consistency and rhythm. Without Fernandes, it seems they don't know what to do."

Despite the criticism, United are sitting pretty at the moment - but it remains to be seen whether they can afford another slow start at RB Leipzig next week with their Champions League hopes on the line.

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