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MOTM: Martial, Herrera, Young stand out amidst sorry team performance

Manchester United failed once again to take their chance to move into the top four, if only temporary, by only managing a draw against relegation battlers Swansea City. United have not been given a reprieve from their injury crisis, which required them to call up youngster Scott McTominay to the matchday squad and despite Juan Mata’s return to the bench, as both Luke Shaw and Eric Bailly had to be forced off due to injury. Swansea was easily the better side in the first half, with United’s fatigue taking effect, but it was United who took the lead, as Wayne Rooney converts a penalty in the 45th minute after Marcus Rashford was brought down by Lukasz Fabianski. While looking marginally better in the second half, granted, not a difficult task, United instead conceded an equaliser from a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick.

 

 

Anthony Martial

A difficult game for United up front, for sure, but it did not stop Martial from trying to turn things up. Playing on the left wing, Martial played brimming with confidence, not afraid to run and take on defenders with the ball. He was also consistently threatening with the attacking passes that he played. One of the biggest chances for United came through one of Martial’s balls, as a wonderful cross from the Frenchman was met by Jesse Lingard, who timed his run perfectly, only for the weak shot be saved by Fabianski.

 

 

Ander Herrera

Herrera has been playing a lot of matches recently, and with the current state of the United squad, you’d think he would be showing signs of fatigue by now. But he was instead on his usual level of commitment, putting in an all-action display in midfield. He was much more aggressive in closing the opposition down, as in, most of the time he was the only one actually trying, and he also did well supporting the attack, at times even overlapping out on the right flank. Not a vintage Herrera performance, a la Chelsea, but he was a lot closer to his best than United were to theirs.

 

 

Ashley Young

Young was deployed to start on the right of defence, but before much of anything happened, had to switch to the other side of the pitch after Shaw was taken off for Antonio Valencia very early on. It didn’t seem to affect him much though, as he still put in a solid performance. He was pushed by the right side of Swansea’s  team, but he was a great foil for Martial on the left-hand side. He was ever present to support the attack from the left flank, and while his deliveries didn’t end up leading to much, he was still performing above much of his teammate’s level.

Conclusion

A poor display from United overall, as it looked like they have fallen victim to their intense schedule, but it still should not have been an excuse to drop points with top four potentially there for the taking. There was a silver lining to the cloud, for sure, but it’s not a very bright lining to a dark, dark cloud.

Written by Adimurti Pramana

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