United’s performance in the FA Cup second round was a mixed bag but it is hard to fault the players.
They did the basics well and showed that they have the capacity to be more creative.
But the big worry is that they might be unable to adapt quickly enough.
The Manchester United team that beat Arsenal in the semi-final is one of the best in the Premier League.
They have got a good attacking structure, and some of the players have shown signs of maturity in recent weeks.
But their defence has been one of their biggest problems.
They conceded twice to Liverpool and twice to Arsenal and there were some signs of fatigue from the back four.
So they might struggle to get to grips with the Premier, as they did in the first leg.
However, it is difficult to argue that the players who got the nod in the second leg of the FA cup semi-finals were the best of the lot.
So it’s no surprise that they weren’t able to get back on track in the final.
The question is how quickly they can do so again.
This was not a great performance by United’s defensive side, but it showed that there is a place for a team who are not quite there yet in the league.
So United will have to take this as a lesson for the rest of the season.
The second leg was a far different affair and this time they were forced to settle for a draw.
But they did do enough to avoid the FA Champions League quarter-final and will hope that the new-look side can turn things around in the next round.
What went wrong Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal: ‘It was the same old Manchester United’ This was another poor performance from United’s back four, as the first-leg was dominated by the attacking pressure.
This time it was not as bad, but Van Gaal will be hoping that the team can continue to improve and develop this season.
He will also want to avoid another disappointing second-leg, in which he conceded two goals to his opponents.
His team-mates must be proud of their display.
They defended well in the opening minutes and the result was a draw, although it was a close result.
It is disappointing that the visitors got away with conceding the first goal in the fourth minute.
That is a worrying sign for Van Gaal, as his side has a strong defensive record.
However the first half was far from ideal for United, and they should have been able to find the equaliser sooner.
They had a number of chances to equalise in the latter stages, but they were wasteful and the chances they took were not good enough to earn a draw for them.
Van Gaal’s side have not had a great season so far and they will hope they can improve before the end of the campaign.
What the players can do?
There is still a lot of work to do.
They still have some of their team-mate problems to overcome, and their defence will have its work cut out.
However their defence is one area that needs improvement.
Van Persie and Daley Blind have both struggled with fitness in recent months, as have Nani and Herrera.
The two forwards have to do more work on their physicality, their positional sense and their mental state.
But there is no reason why they should be too slow in getting back to the level of the first two legs.
The team must be able to attack more, and that is a big part of what they did so well.
They can only do so much when they are not playing like United.
United have conceded seven goals in their last six Premier League games, and Van Gaal has had some problems with the back line, as shown by the first game against West Brom.
This means they must be more patient, and the attacking players must have a more natural attacking style.
The problem is that United do not have the experience of the competition.
Van Aanholt said: ‘If you play like Manchester United, you can win the league’ If the players do not play like United, they will not win the title.
It would be very difficult to beat Manchester United.
The way the teams played in the last game will give Van Gaal a great boost, but the title is not assured.
United will take on Tottenham in the Europa League next Sunday, and then a big game against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals.
It will be a tough one, but there are plenty of games to watch in the season ahead.
They will have a tough game against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-finale on March 4 and then they will face Bayern Munich at Wembley on March 17.
There are plenty more big games to be played.
But for Van Persia, the FA Championship final against Arsenal on May 19 will be one of them.