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Analysing Danny Welbeck's Performance vs. Tottenham

NORWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28:  Danny Welbeck of Manchester United (R) celebrates with Javier Hernandez (14) as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and  Manchester United at Carrow Road on December 28, 2013 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2014

Danny Welbeck scores when he wants.

The 23-year-old striker immediately answered a goal from Christian Eriksen with one of his own to bring Manchester United to within a goal of Tottenham Hotspur in the 67th minute. Although the Red Devils lost 2-1, David Moyes can be heartened by Welbeck continuing what has been a scintillating run of form.    

He has now scored five times in his last five EPL matches, per OptaJoe.

With seven goals, Welbeck is now tied with Robin van Persie as United's second-leading scorer. Coincidentally, it's in van Persie's absence that Welbeck has shone. He has received consistent playing time and is making the most of it. Moyes has no other option other than to keep him in the lineup.

While the goal offers a slight consolation for United's loss, it helped cover up what was an otherwise average performance from the Englishman. He had been nonexistent for the first 66 minutes and did little else for the rest of the match.

The most notable thing he had done before the goal was an alleged dive in the 58th minute to try to win United a penalty.

Welbeck struggled largely as a result of his midfield's failure to create any chances and provide reliable service. It's been a problem for United all season, and they again left their striker on an island on Wednesday evening.

The young star isn't the kind of player who can regularly bear down on goal with darting runs through the defense, like Wayne Rooney. He's a tricky dribbler, but he needs the ball closer to goal.

It's not as if Welbeck was wasteful with his chances; he simply needed more. According to WhoScored.com, he had four total shots, two of which were on target. That's a strong rate of finishing.

Perhaps if he could have had more opportunities, United could have had another goal or two and taken all three points.

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