Menu

MOTM: Mata, Pogba and Valencia the contenders against Hull

Attempting to follow-up one cup win after another, Manchester United host Hull City in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final after their FA Cup win against Reading. United outlined their intent in winning the cup by fielding a strong team, with Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan returning to the starting lineup, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic, on the match for the previous match, misses out due to an illness.

With United in stellar form, the first half shows flashbacks of a less satisfying spell this season, as United managed to play together well enough to seem dominant, yet not enough to take the lead. There were good chances in the first half, one in particular that Mkhitaryan should’ve done better with after good play from Juan Mata and Ander Herrera, but overall they weren’t convincing enough. United only opened the scoring in the second half, after Mkhitaryan headed back an Antonio Valencia cross for Mata to finish from close range, and then substitute Marouane Fellaini doubled the scoreline with a looping header from a Matteo Darmian cross late in the game.

Mata’s opener capped off what was an overall impressive display. When United struggled to create good enough chances it was important for them to keep possession while maintaining the pressure, and Mata was instrumental in achieving that. His close control and technique was also on full display. It’s right that he was to be the first United goalscorer, as he was the best of United’s attacking player.

In midfield, Paul Pogba also performed well. He had some shaky little moments in the first half, misplacing some more ambitious passes, but they were tiny compared to the rest of his performance. His passing range was superb, picking out through balls, and switching play with sweeping long passes effortlessly. He set up a great chance for Wayne Rooney with a long-range through ball, and nearly got on the scoresheet himself, striking the post from a free kick.

And lastly, United’s symbol of consistency this season, Antonio Valencia. He wasn’t kept too busy in defence but stepped up whenever called for. It was in attack where he was most impressive, repeatedly causing trouble with his direct running and crossing. His cross led to Mata’s opener, and a great left-footed cross in the first half could’ve ended up creating a good chance if not for some miscommunication between Pogba and Mkhitaryan.

While the other two performed very well in their own right, Mata is the one who deserves to be Man of the Match the most. Without him and his opening goal United might not have been able to get going the way they did, and if not for him they would definitely have struggled to create even more.

Advertisements

Comments

comments

Speak Your Mind

Other news you may also like

October 15, 2015

Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian has admitted to Inside United that his experience of playing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup restored his confidence which … Read more

August 23, 2015

– THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED – MUFCLatest.com and Life Style Sports are giving you the chance to win a Manchester United home shirt for the 2015… Read more

February 9, 2015

Adam speak to Darius @oneunitedbar after Manchester United’s 1-1 draw away to West Ham. Herrera needs to start? Rooney needs to play up top and LvG needs … Read more

March 9, 2016

Ever since Manchester United were relegated to the Europa League, big chunk of the fan base was of the opinion that the tournament should be utilized to test o… Read more

copyright: mufclatest

%d bloggers like this: