‘We have created a lot of chances but failed to score’ appears to be the line which has come out of the majority of Louis van Gaal’s post-match interviews this year.
It is fair to say United have found it difficult to score freely in 2015, with possession and shots not always translating into goals.
However, Red Devils fans have been treated to a few moments of magic this year, and here MM looks back at our top five strikes of 2015.
Ander Herrera v Yeovil Town, 04/01/15
United began the year away to Yeovil Town in the third-round of the FA Cup where, despite a gutsy performance from the League One side, the Red Devils progressed thanks to a wonder strike from Ander Herrera.
With United struggling to find the breakthrough, the ball came to the Spanish midfielder who sensationally volleyed the ball into the top corner while on the turn from 25 yards out.
Angel di Maria added United’s second in the dying stages, but the Red Devils were eventually eliminated in the competition by Arsenal in the quarter-finals.
Herrera: “We knew before coming here that it was going to be a difficult game.
“We needed the first goal and after that we kept the ball better and were more patient so I’m very happy.”
Juan Mata v Liverpool, 22/03/15
Voted for by fans as United’s goal of the 2014/15 season, Juan Mata’s second strike at Anfield in United’s 2-1 win over rivals Liverpool was one to remember.
The Spaniard’s scissor kick from di Maria’s flick over the Liverpool defence flew past Simon Mignolet into the bottom corner and ensured the Red Devils won all three points.
The victory was an important one for United in their bid for a top-four finish as a defeat in Merseyside would have seen Liverpool overtake them in the table.
However, Van Gaal’s side moved five points clear in fourth and held on to qualify for the Champions League.
Mata: “It was a very important moment in the game.
“It was a great pass from Angel, he saw my run and I just tried to take it first time – luckily it went in.”
Memphis Depay v Club Brugge, 18/08/15
Memphis Depay has had an ambivalent start to his United career, but showed in the Champion’s League qualifier against Club Brugge just why the Red Devils were so keen to secure his signature.
The 21-year-old scored both goals at Old Trafford including a spectacular long-range strike which flew into the bottom corner past goalkeeper Sebastien Bruzzese.
United went on to qualify for the Champion’s League group stages – but the least said about their progress in Europe’s elite competition this year the better.
Memphis: “I’m happy to have scored and to have won the game, it’s a nice feeling to score my first two goals here at Old Trafford.”
Anthony Martial v Liverpool, 12/09/15
What a way to mark your Old Trafford debut!
Few United fans had heard of Anthony Martial before his £36m deadline day move from Monaco, with the striker immediately being dubbed a waste of money by sections of the press.
The France international come on as a substitute against Liverpool in September with the game poised at 2-1 in United’s favour.
With five minutes remaining, Martial showed his quality with a run which saw him glide past Nathaniel Clyne and Martin Skrtel before slotting home.
Van Gaal: “When you make a goal like Anthony you cannot wish for more, I think. A lot of players have made a debut and scored with me so it’s a good signal.”
Jesse Lingard v West Brom, 07/11/15
After a slow and dull opening 52 minutes in United’s Premier League game against West Brom in November, a moment of magic from Jesse Lingard changed the game.
The youngster has taken his chance to impress under Van Gaal this season and marked his first goal for the senior team with a looping long-range shot past the helpless Boaz Myhill.
Mata’s injury-time penalty made sure of the three points and Lingard has become an integral part of Van Gaal’s plans ever since.
Lingard: “It was a really happy moment for me in my career.
“Afterwards it was just pure happiness, especially with my family being here too. They’re all United fans and are all really proud of me.”
Image courtesy of Sky Sports, via Youtube, with thanks