Manchester United went into Wednesday's contest against Arsenal coming off two convincing wins, but that was far from clear judging by their start at the Emirates.
It took just eight minutes for the Gunners to take the lead, when Nicolas Pepe found himself in acres of space in the United box and finished off his chance. The performance level didn't improve throughout the first half, something United were made to pay for just before the break, when Alexandre Lacazette's flick from a corner forced a save from David de Gea, which saw the ball fall to Sokratis Papastathopoulos for a chance that he couldn't miss.
There was an improvement made in the second half as the Red Devils prevented any more goals going in, but they failed to give Bernd Leno any significant tests, Ultimately, it ended with a deflating 2-0 defeat.
It's hard to take any real positives from the first half because of how poor the performance was. However, a small slice of encouragement can be taken from the fact that there was an improvement made in the second, with the team actually giving Arsenal a reminder that they had a game to play.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have been keen for his side to get off to a quick start, but the early defending was poor. They really struggled to get any sort of hold on the game, feeling more like a supporting act in The Arsenal Show at the Emirates than a genuine challenger at times in the opening period. Even when they were on top, Leno wasn't tested too much.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- It wasn't hard, but United did look better at the beginning of the second half than they had in the first, so Solskjaer must have said something productive at half-time. His decision to take off Jesse Lingard was a good one, although it can be argued that he should have made it even earlier. Overall, his team was outclassed and deserved to lose.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK David de Gea, 5 -- It would be harsh to blame him for either goal. The Spain international got away with some questionable distribution from his feet on a couple of occasions.
DF Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 6 -- His battle with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was an intriguing one, although the Gabon international got away from him a few more times than he would have liked. Wan-Bissaka was one of few United players who maintained a respectable level of performance throughout.
DF Victor Lindelof, 6 -- Was unlucky for Sokratis' goal, as the ball bounced off him and into the Greek defender's path. Was unable to do much to ease United's struggles, despite producing some solid pieces of defending.
DF Harry Maguire, 4 -- He was very clumsy in his defending far too often. Had a chance to get a goal back towards the end of the first half but provided a tame effort.
DF Luke Shaw, 5 -- Was completely oblivious to Pepe's presence for the first goal and struggled to deal with the Ivorian throughout the first half. He did make an improvement in the second.
MF Fred, 4 -- His passing was really poor at times and he looked very ineffective throughout the game, making some sloppy attempts to win back the ball.
MF Nemanja Matic, 4 -- It would be easy to forget he was on the pitch at points during the first half, as Arsenal played the ball around the Serbian and his teammates. He made a definite improvement in the second half.
MF Jesse Lingard, 3 -- His performance was simply shocking, as characterised by his wastefulness going forward, poor passing and rash attempts at defending. He was eventually put out of his misery in the 58th minute.
FW Anthony Martial, 5 -- There was a clear effort being made to create and make something happen for his team, but it just didn't come off for him in the end.
MF Andreas Pereira, 4 -- Replaced Lingard in the 58th minute and hit the side netting with one of United's biggest chances of the game.
FW Mason Greenwood, 5 -- Replaced James in the 58th minute and provided a few bright moments.
MF Juan Mata, N/R -- Replaced Matic in the 81st minute and played a good ball into the box that Rashford failed to make the most of.