Bruno Fernandes. Anthony Martial. Mason Greenwood.
The three different goals from Manchester United in their emphatic 3-0 victory over Watford on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League. Of course, most of the attention was paid to the trio, with Fernandes particularly gaining comparisons with the likes of Paul Scholes and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Juan Sebastian Veron – not too shabby.
But while the Portuguese international in particular enjoyed an exceptional game with a goal and an assist, a man who may have gone under the radar despite having had an impressive outing, is Nemanja Matic.
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The Serbian international has been linked with a departure from Old Trafford in recent weeks, but his performances from the New Year have even led Solskjaer to declare that “he has been playing the best football since I have been here” last month. And against Watford on Sunday, he showed exactly why his manager said this.
According to Sofascore, his 7.8 game rating was only improved by Fernandes and Greenwood, who obviously both scored. Matic’s contributions have been much more complete and more effective in different areas of the field. But perhaps the most surprising, the ex-Chelsea man shone in a more creative sense.
Who is that?! No one has been able to name the teams of all these dark managers who were once responsible for …
His impressive total of five key passes was more than any other Old Trafford player on the pitch, including that of January who signed Fernandes, who managed four. Not to mention that he also had more touches and passes than the Portuguese national team, and completed three of his five long ball attempts.
Being the most natural starting midfielder, he also had some defensive numbers, recording three apiece for tackles, interceptions and clearances. But it was his use of the ball that guaranteed he probably stole the show for the Red Devils.
Although he did not find the back of the net or provide assistance, he dictated the time in the middle of the park and allowed the likes of Fernandes, Martial and Greenwood to shine. He laid the platform with his cute passages and vision, and Solskjaer will have been suitably proud of the powerhouse’s magical touch.
In the meantime, fans of Man Utd are thrilled with this update on Key Man’s injuries.