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Man United need to make this work

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Rashford, Sanchez 4/10 as Man United look disjointed in FA cup final defeat

Manchester United slumped to a 1-0 FA Cup final defeat against Chelsea in a game that captured the worst elements of their season: needless defensive errors at crucial points, a curious lack of intensity in the first half and a lack of both imagination and cohesion in attack. It was a disappointing end to a term that saw United fall short in the UEFA Champions League, and a spectacle that few will wish to remember.

Next season, and a renewed sense of vigour, cannot come soon enough.

Positives

David De Gea was his team's best player by a distance, saving almost everything he was called upon to handle.

Negatives

Unfortunately, there was a team-wide lack of intensity for the whole of the first half, but Phil Jones chose this day to have a performance where he looked largely out of sorts.

Manager rating (out of 10)

4 -- This was a strangely passive performance for over an hour, and Jose Mourinho's team rallied far too late. Even when they played with greater urgency, there was little creativity. He must take some responsibility for that ponderous approach.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK David De Gea, 7 -- Was sent the wrong way for Eden Hazard's winning penalty, but there is no shame in that. His distribution was precise, while his footwork and reflexes for his saves were excellent.

DF Antonio Valencia, 6 -- Recovered fairly well from a disappointing first half but was still too lacking in invention in the final third.

DF Chris Smalling, 7 -- Played the ball out from the back with more confidence than usual and was positionally sound.

DF Phil Jones, 5 -- Committed a needless foul on Hazard to concede the game's decisive penalty, and although he worked very hard to redeem himself, he could not find the precision his team needed.

DF Ashley Young, 6 -- Displayed an excellent work ethic but failed to penetrate with his dribbling and crossing, not hitting the byline with sufficient frequency.

MF Nemanja Matic, 6 -- Very lucky not to concede a penalty early on and was unable to find his forwards with quick passes through the lines.

Rashford was off the pace and failed to link up effectively with his Man United teammates at Wembley.
Rashford was off the pace and failed to link up effectively with his Man United teammates at Wembley.

MF Paul Pogba, 5 -- Missed a free header late on, which capped a sub-par afternoon for him. He never quite found his passing rhythm and impressed only in flashes.

MF Ander Herrera, 5 -- Industrious but missing inspiration in a game where he seemed to be caught between an attacking brief and a defensive one.

FW Jesse Lingard, 5 -- Toiled but to little avail. His urgency was perhaps the greatest of United's forwards, but he too rarely made inroads in attack.

FW Alexis Sanchez, 4 -- One of his more ineffectual showings, where he seemed to have lost the chemistry he had with his fellow attackers and didn't get into threatening positions.

FW Marcus Rashford, 4 -- A game where he seemed to lack confidence from the outset, hesitant in shooting and too deliberate in possession. Looks to have lost much of his directness at present.

Substitutions

FW Romelu Lukaku, NR (for Rashford, 73 mins) -- Added presence and intensity but was not on the ball enough truly to threaten.

FW Anthony Martial, NR (for Lingard, 73 mins) -- Drove at the defence with purpose but his final ball lacked precision.

MF Juan Mata, NR (for Jones, 87mins) -- Swung some crosses into the area, pushed and probed, but his industry was too little, too late.

Musa Okwonga is one of ESPN FC's Manchester United bloggers. Follow on Twitter: @Okwonga.

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