75.9% pass success, no shots: What was wrong with United's Wayne Rooney vs Southampton?

Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney was out of sorts during his side’s 1-0 loss at home to Southampton.

Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney had one of his most ineffectual matches of the season during his side’s disappointing 1-0 loss at home to fellow top-four rivals Southampton.

The England international has been an ever present performer for Louis van Gaal since the Dutchman took over the reins at Old Trafford.

Previously played as a striker, the influx of attacking talent during the summer has seen Rooney drop back into a central midfield role where he can dictate play from deep.

The 29-year-old has shown his versatility with a number of fine displays in recent months, but he will quickly want to erase yesterday’s performance from the memory as by and large he had a bit of a shocker.

  ShotsKey PassesDribbles CompletedTouchesAccurate PassPass Success RateMins Played
Wayne Rooney 0 2 0 70 41 75.9% 90

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the former Everton academy product created very little throughout and was uncharacteristically wasteful when a cool head was required.

Rooney failed to test Fraser Foster in the visitors’ goal, made just two key passes and was unsuccessful in his attempted dribbles to create space – registering a completion rate of 0%.

His inability to make things happen took its toll on his side as Ronald Koeman’s men took advantage of United’s lethargic display, substitute Dusan Tadic firing in not long after being introduced.

The Red Devils have been behind on several occasions this season and responded, but when they needed a cool head to help probe the visitors’ stubborn defence their skipper struggled to deliver.

Rooney was found on many occasions – illustrated by his 70 touches – but his efficiency with the ball was strangely off, making just 41 accurate passes with a lowly success rate of 75.9%.

The defeat leaves van Gaal’s men in fourth spot, one point ahead of Arsenal in fifth and rather worryingly on a run of three Premier League games without a win.

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