Manchester United vs Fulham: Did Rasmus Hojlund’s absence make an impact? Harry Maguire responds

Manchester United headed into that game on the back of losing some of their important players through injuries.

Harry Maguire in a file photo; Credit: Harry Maguire Twitter
By Karthik Raman | Feb 28, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Manchester United suffered a major blow in their bid to finish in the Premier League top four places after suffering a cruel defeat at the weekend. In an end-to-end fixture, Calvin Bassey opened the scoring for Fulham after the hour mark. It was a deserved lead for the visitors who raised their game during the trip to Old Trafford. However, United did well to get a late equaliser through Harry Maguire.

With the Premier League contest heading into injury time, Manchester United committed bodies forward to get the late win. However, Fulham took advantage of the situation by opening up United’s defence in a well-worked counter-attack to score a 97th minute winner through Alex Iwobi. After the game, centre-back Harry Maguire explained why his team committed men forward during the dying minutes.

It was far too naive: Harry Maguire

“This season, we’ve scored numerous late goals, numerous late winners, so we had great belief that we were going to go on to win the game. In hindsight, we can sit here and say that we should have been more cautious, it was far too naive. We can look back and I’m sure we’ll asses it in terms of areas that we can improve on, but, ultimately over the 90 minutes, we didn’t do enough to win the game,” he told MUTV.

Even though Maguire was happy with the response shown by the team to going behind, he believed they had thrown “one too many bodies forward” and left themselves open for the counter. “I thought the reaction [to going behind] was really good. All the boys pushing, fighting, doing everything they can to get back into the game. We thoroughly deserved the equaliser. Then we went on and we pushed, we had all the pressure, all the momentum and the belief was there that we were going to go on and win the game. In the end, we’ve probably just thrown one too many bodies forward and left the middle of the pitch open, and they’ve punished us with a clinical counter-attack,” he said.

Harry Maguire on Rasmus Hojlund’s absence

Manchester United headed into the game on the back of losing some of their important players through injuries. Luke Shaw will be out for a long time, while Rasmus Hojlund is set be out of action for the short term. Maguire explained how much of an impact Hojlund’s absence made on the day. He felt that this had an impact on the overall positioning of the front three.

“He [Rasmus] is a big player for us. He’s been the focal point leading the press with playing balls into him – he’s holding it up, he’s scoring goals for us. To lose him yesterday was really disappointing; but you’re not only losing Ramsus, but Marcus [Rashford] has been playing well off the left and he’s had to go up front. Garna [Alejandro Garnacho] has been on the right and gone to the left, so you lose the rhythm,” the defender added.

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