Where to begin? It looks like a FIFA score. Wan Bissaka opened it with a poke from the back-post. Rashford stroked it in for the second. Bednarek put into his own net for the third. Cavani headed in the fourth. The half-time whistle went. The second half begun and for the opening 20/25 mins saw little action. Then United picked up again. Martial got onto the scoresheet with one of the goals of the game. THE goal of the game was from McTominay hitting another daisycutter, like what he done vs Leeds. It was 6. The seventh was shrouded in controversy, as VAR saw it fit to award a penalty and a red card for Bednarek. Bruno stuck it away as usual. Martial notched another with a cross from the right. Daniel James finished the scoring with a lovely assist from Bruno. Not quite dispelling the horrors of Sheffield United but on the way to doing so
It is important that when you are given the advantage that the Red Devils were handed with the early sending off, that you capitalise. It was a mix of arrogance and complacency that became negatively potent against Sheffield Utd so this would be a test of professionalism to see if the players had learned from last week. Well, they responded emphatically. They have been occasions where United have had a man advantage and they have passed the ball around slowly, with little urgency. It wasn’t there today. There were concerns given the pivot on how well they would cope against the counter pressing that Hassenhuttl implemented so well in the Saints. However, Fred and McTominay acquitted themselves well, moving the ball around swiftly, even if it could have been more progressive. The player that was impressively progressive in the first and second phase was the captain, Maguire. Before his arrival at Old Trafford, a well noticed feature of his game was his quality on the ball, either carrying or passing to another team mate. Seeing it at Leicester, an upper mid-table team, you could perhaps say that he would have ample opportunity to showcase it against those below their level. Yet, it was an asset in his game he showed at Hull, who battled at the lower embers of the league all 2016/17. It was what alerted Leicester and Southgate to his ability. Today, you saw what they saw. Of course, the advantage of a man will play a massive part in why he was allowed to do it but seeing the intensity at which he done it with was something not seen in a United shirt. You start to wonder how this could be coaxed out in games where the numbers are level. A DM covering for these forays, alike Ndidi, may help in that regard and opening up those avenues would perhaps be the options in seeing it more. But focusing on just tonight, it was good to see the other aspects outside of his defending have come to the fore in this game.
Backs Full of Vigour
Over the years, United have been jealous about other teams having full backs that contribute so heavily to their build up and offensive play. It has been an area that Old Trafford has been lacking in since the departures of Evra and Rafael respectively. Again, against the backdrop of a depleted Southampton team and the red card, the performances of Shaw and Wan Bissaka drew back memories of the Frenchman and Brazilian. The English LB, playing against his former team, was particularly impressive. Something that we have seen in the recent weeks is the fact that finally, Shaw has managed to work on his crossing where it is an effective weapon to break down teams. What’s more, the crosses are coming in a different variety. The deep whipped cross for the Wan Bissaka opener and the lovely cushioned crosses for Cavani’s header showed the array that is currently in his repertoire. Wan Bissaka, as aforementioned, got on the scoresheet and he capped off an impressive display, dotted with his usual wonderfully unorthodox tackling, with a great cross that was helped on its way so Martial could put it in for his second and the Red Devils’ eighth.