Manchester United played nine matches in the Premier League, UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup during the month of December. United won six times, drew twice and lost once during the month. They started with a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa at Old Trafford, which was a poor result to start December and resulted in negativity from the (social media) supporters once again.
However, results changed with United beating both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in the Premier League with the same 2-1 scoreline, turning around their form considerable. Then came the final Europa League group stage match with United beating AZ Alkmaar 4-0 and topping the group. Back in the league, United fell to a 1-1 draw against Everton at home, which was another poor result.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side then beat Colchester United 3-0 in the Carabao Cup, setting up a semi-final place against Manchester City in January. Back in the league and into the busy Festive period, United fell to a 2-0 defeat away to Watford. It was a poor performance all round. They did bounce back though by beating Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford and Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor, ending the month and decade in style.
Marcus Rashford – eight appearances, 665 minutes, six goals, one assist and two Man of the Match awards.
The 22-year-old is the top scorer for United this season with 16 goals. He has scored six of them in December. Rashford has played eight times for United in the month of December, playing a total of 665 minutes of football. He also assisted one goal this month, giving him seven goal contributions – averaging at least one goal or assist every 95 minutes. Rashford also won two Man of the Match awards for the 2-1 victory over Spurs and the 3-0 victory over Colchester. This season, based on him playing a total of 2,089 minutes in all competitions and adding five assists, he has averaged one goal every 99.47 minutes of football. Rashford won the Player of the Month for November and probably will for December too. Onwards and upwards.
Anthony Martial – eight appearances, 643 minutes, five goals and one Man of the Match award.
The Frenchman returned to form in December playing eight times for the club, totalling 643 minutes on the pitch. He scored five goals also winning a Man of the Match award in the 4-1 victory over Newcastle United. Martial has averaged a goal every 128.6 minutes during the month of December and has improved after spending much of the season on the sidelines through injury – he could improve a lot more to help his team out though. It will come for him. Martial has a lot to take on as the first-choice striker at the club following the departure of Romelu Lukaku in the summer. He may need to start taking his chances to be a more clinical striker. The confidence gained throughout December will inspire him to become better and help achieve with United.
Mason Greenwood – seven appearances, 324 minutes, four goals and two Man of the Match awards.
The 18-year-old has performed well during the months of December and has been put forward as the clubs Player of the Month for the second month running. Greenwood has played seven times this month, playing a total of 324 minutes, scoring four goals – an average of one goal every 81 minutes, which is a great statistic for the player. He was also names United Man of the Match for the 4-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar and the 1-1 draw with Everton. He is going to become some player if he continues his rise to fame as he has so far this season.
Notable Mentions: Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Brandon Williams and David De Gea.
Other than Rashford, Martial and Greenwood, four more United players deserve notable mentions for their performances in December starting with Daniel James. The Welsh winger added three assists to his first season tally at the club, making six appearances throughout the month – playing a total of 504 minutes of football. The second player is Aaron Wan-Bissaka who has become untouchable in the right-back position more often than not. The England defender played six times in December, playing a total of 520 minutes and being named Man of the Match for the victory over Manchester City.
Brandon Williams is another player to be named here as he has risen in stature in December – a young player with an old head. He made four appearances, playing 287 minutes and was named the Man of the Match in the 2-0 victory over Burnley. The final player to be mentioned is David De Gea. Yes, he’s made mistakes but playing eight of the nine matches in December, playing a total of 720 minutes, he finally kept another clean sheet in the victory over Burnley. Improvement is there to be seen for United after a long and tough December but winning six times, drawing twice and losing once is a good record. Undefeated in eight out of nine matches played in December.
Who is your Player of the Month for December 2019?
A look at what lies ahead in January…
United could play eight matches in January. They will start the month facing Arsenal at the Emirates on New Year’s Day. Just three days later they travel to the Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers (4/1) in the FA Cup. Three days after that, Manchester City (7/1) travel to Old Trafford in the semi-final first leg in the Carabao Cup before United welcome Norwich City (11/1) four days later.
United then get an eight-day break before travelling to Anfield in the league to face Liverpool (19/1) for the second time this season, then welcoming Burnley (22/1) to Old Trafford in the Premier League. If United beat Wolves in the FA Cup, they could then play in the fourth round of the competition before ending the month facing City in the semi-final second leg in the Carabao Cup, which will decide which Manchester team reach the final this season.