Pundits split on Welbeck’s missed chance: Stupid or Courageous?

Danny Welbeck missed a glorious chance to give Manchester United a first-half lead during their Champions League quarter-final clash with Bayern Munich.

In a game where chances were likely to be few and far between for Manchester United, they simply had to be clinical in front of goal.

Bayern Munich – typically under Pep Guardiola – dominated possession against David Moyes’ men and the majority of the play was played in front of the United midfield.

The shape of the game for Manchester United was simple. Defend in numbers, hold two solid banks and when the opportunity arises, break with pace.

The game plan was working, and with five minutes of the first-half remaining, the hosts carved out a glorious chance to go into the interval in the lead.

Wayne Rooney picked up the ball in his own half, played a quick ball towards Welbeck who found himself clean through on goal after Jerome Boateng had slipped. With all the time in the world, the England international inexplicably tried to chip Manuel Neuer in the Bayern goal and big German shot-stopper easily plucked the ball out of the air.

The 23-year-old striker’s miss was met with groans around Old Trafford, and boss David Moyes was left with his head in his hands – but how did the pundits react to it?

Robbie Savage, commentating for BBC Radio 5 Live, criticised Welbeck’s finish, saying:

"What is Danny Welbeck doing? It's one v one, you don't try to flick it over the keeper there, you place it and you score. How will that come back to haunt him? What a chance that was.”

Former Spurs and England striker Gary Lineker, on the other hand, credited Welbeck’s courage for attempting such a skilled finish on social networking site Twitter.

He Tweeted:

It’s difficult to tell how much of a game-changer that miss was, after all Manchester United did take the lead in the second half and immediately sat back to protect it.

David Moyes, however, will surely have his own view on Danny Welbeck’s decision and finishing will probably be high on the agenda during United’s next training session.


Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch