The Wembley defeat highlighted more issues for the Red Devils going into the summer as they finished the campaign empty-handed.
Here, Sportsmail takes a look at the problems facing Jose Mourinho.
Jose Mourinho hasn’t had much to shout about this term as Manchester United finished empty-handed this season after losing the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday evening
1. Alexis Sanchez
His arrival at the club saw him play the piano, but Alexis Sanchez has been off key at Old Trafford since joining – often hitting a bum note. The January transfer from Arsenal was seen as an immediate impact but so far it hasn’t worked. The Chilean’s qualities are well known but he just hasn’t clicked in Mourinho’s system – appearing to be shoehorned in at the expense of others.
Three goals in 18 appearances is a poor return from a forward who has been shown the kind of patience that wouldn’t have been afforded to his team-mates. United legend Paul Scholes summed up his displays appropriately on Saturday when speaking as a BT Sport pundit: ‘His performances, well they have to improve. They can’t get any worse to be honest with you.’
With no World Cup this summer and a full pre-season under his belt, those concerned with United will hope that Sanchez starts to justify his constant selection.
Alexis Sanchez has failed to deliver for Manchester United since joining in the January window
2. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford
Problem two goes in hand with problem one. Sanchez’s arrival at the club has coincided with the loss of form of United’s two bright attacking stars – who seem stifled by his arrival.
Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were the mainstay’s of United’s left wing in the first half of the season providing goals and assists aplenty as they interchanged for one another.
However, since then they have been fighting just for minutes on the pitch as they watch Sanchez dominate their position. Martial’s future is uncertain as a result with his non-selection for France’s World Cup squad only heightening fears he may leave, while Rashford looks a shadow of the player that broke through just two years ago.
Mourinho has been critical of the pair at times this season, with his most cutting dig appearing after the 1-0 defeat at Brighton.
Anthony Martial (left) and Marcus Rashford have been stifled since Sanchez joined in January
‘The players that replaced others did not perform at a good level,’ he blasted.
‘When individuals do that it is difficult for the team to play well. Maybe now you will not ask me why A, B and C do not play so much. Why always [Romelu] Lukaku? Why always Lukaku? Why always Lukaku? You have the answer why always Lukaku.’
While it is true that they have been inconsistent since the turn of the year, the Portuguese must find a way to coax the best out of them.
Martial’s future at United is in doubt – with the Frenchman’s lack of playing time a big concern
Rashford has looked a shadow of the player who broke through at the club just two years ago
3. Paul Pogba
The same could be said for Paul Pogba. The 25-year-old should be the fulcrum of the team yet questions remain about his best position in this United team, two years since he rejoined.
Can he play in a midfield two? Is he best on the left of a midfield three with license to roam? His talent is obvious but for whatever reason United fans haven’t seen the dominating player from Juventus they thought they’d get.
Despite missing a large chunk of the season through injury, Pogba still provided 10 Premier League assists and six goals – however, you feel that return could be bettered.
With his focus turning to France, it’ll be interesting to see how he is utilised by manager Didier Deschamps at the World Cup.
After two seasons, United still don’t know how to get the best out of midfielder Paul Pogba
They’re yet to see the best of the Frenchman on a consistent basis after he shone at Juventus
4. Finding a Leader
Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and Roy Keane are just some of the inspirational leaders that United have had during recent decades. Players that would take a game by the scruff of the neck. More recently that was Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick – albeit the latter did so in an understated way. Looking at the Red Devils side this season, this has been missing at times with games they should have won, just passing them by.
Mourinho has complained about his squad’s mentality so it’s up to him to change some of his players’ mindset or to buy those who have that this summer.
Michael Carrick’s (right) retirement means another leader will need to be replaced
5. Needing an X-Factor
‘United need two magical players. I think they’ve got really good players, they haven’t got a [Eden] Hazard, [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi, and I know many teams haven’t, but the difference between the two today was the quality in Hazard, we saw that in big games,’ Scholes critiqued on Saturday.
A fair assessment when you consider their abject showing in the FA Cup final and their limp exit at the hands of Sevilla in the Champions League.
Having insisted he won’t sign an attacking player this summer, Mourinho will hope that spark comes from Sanchez next season. But with Gareth Bale’s future again in doubt, should the Portuguese look to the Real Madrid forward?
A spark is certainly needed in midfield with the Red Devils needing someone that can unlock a defence with a pass.
Carrick’s retirement will be felt keener for it coupled with the fact that United’s bitter rivals Manchester City have this type of player in abundance with David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan.
Eden Hazard’s first-half penalty proved the difference as Chelsea won the FA Cup on Saturday
Gareth Bale has long been linked with a move to United and would provide an attacking spark
Kevin De Bruyne was instrumental from central midfield as Manchester City won the title
6. Sweeping Aside the Minnows
United’s league record against their fellow top-six rivals – City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham – this season has been good. Where Mourinho will assess their failings has come against those outside of that upper echelon.
Defeats at the newly promoted sides Huddersfield, Newcastle and Brighton wouldn’t have been in his reckoning while last month’s 1-0 home loss against West Brom confirmed City as champions.
A more uptempo style of play would see put those teams on the back foot quicker…
Jay Rodriguez’s (centre) scored the only goal as West Brom stunned United 1-0 in April
That goal saw United hand City the Premier League title as they slumped to an abject defeat
7. Style of Play
Mourinho’s brand of football is well known and nobody should be under any illusions as to what to expect from a man who has been so successful with it.
However, with the players at his disposal it is mind-boggling as to why they can’t express themselves.
After a flurry of four-goal victories at the start of the season, United’s style has been roundly criticised with some fans becoming alienated.
The 3-2 victory at City in April is a microcosm of that. Trailing 2-0 at half-time playing conservatively, Mourinho allowed his players to express themselves in the second half which resulted in a comeback inspired by Pogba.
Pogba inspired United to a 3-2 comeback victory at City last month – in a rare attacking show
However, some United supported have become disillusioned with the club’s brand of football
8. Defensive Woes
Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Ashley Young. That has been Mourinho’s main defence this season – and a unit that helped concede just 28 times this season in the league.
However, they’re all signings from Sir Alex Ferguson’s era and two of them are converted wingers. Mourinho knows his defence needs strengthening with the departures of Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic still keenly felt several years later.
The fact that David de Gea’s has prevented an expected 14 goals, according to Opta, highlights his brilliance – it also underlines that without him United’s results could have been worse.
Eric Bailly appears to be United’s strongest centre back but he has endured an injury plagued season. Finding a defensive partner alongside him will be key next season, while this summer could see several buys with Matteo Darmian, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw among those who seem set to leave the club.
Mourinho will be hoping that Eric Bailly can avoid injury next season as he builds his defence
9. Backroom Staff
After 17 years working together, Mourinho will lose his trusted allay Rui Faria meaning a reshuffling to his backroom team.
The United manager has intimated that he will not have an assistant to replace Faria next season, choosing instead to restructure his coaching team.
Carrick and United U18s coach Kieran McKenna are set to promoted to his first team set-up while former Inter Milan coach Stefano Rapetti is being lined up to join too – as revealed by Sportsmail.
Only time will tell if the presence of Faria will be missed, but if it is the case then Mourinho may have to contend with problems on and off the pitch next season.
Rui Faria’s departure could be keenly felt as Mourinho plans a backroom staff reshuffle