The tough run of fixtures continues with another good result against Fenerbahce. Some players went out with a point to prove and Mourinho should now definitely have a much better idea as to what makes this Manchester United team click.
With the exception of the derby game Jesse Lingard has been incredible this season and his goal and assist showed exactly why he is quickly becoming an important first team player. Just like with Ander Herrera and Juan Mata, Lingard should be one of the first names on the team list as whenever he’s played the team has overall performed much better and entertained the fans more.
I’ve already talked about Herrera’s influence on the team after his man of the match performance on Monday, but on the night he was missing his Spanish friend Mata who is the main creative influence in the side. Without him the team struggles to create as many chances. His through ball to win the second penalty is just one example of how Mata can quickly change a game with just one pass or bit of magic, which could be crucial come the business end of the season. Lingard also massively improves the side with his movement on and off the ball and for now Mourinho should keep playing these 3 players whom I believe make the team tick.
Rooney was given his first start since the game against Northampton Town a month ago and he had a much better performance. He did not look as lethargic as he has been this season and he was a more integral part of the build up play contributing with yet another assist. I believe this just goes to show the fact that Rooney and Zlatan should probably not play together as they both slow the team down. There is only really one space available in the starting eleven for either one of them or otherwise you risk a slow and sluggish attacking line, and us fans miss out on the exciting attacking football we have seen at times this season. It will therefore be very interesting to see if Mourinho does line up with these 2 again.
Finally, it was very interesting to see Fosu-Mensah come on to play in midfield. Mourinho is clearly a fan of the youngster with the player having just received a new contract, but where does he feel is his best position? At U21 level I was a big fan of him when he played in the defensive midfield role and I believe he has the right qualities to be a success there, but his physical stature also make him a good fit at centre back. I personally hope he gets given more time as a defensive midfielder, especially with the potential of replacing Michael Carrick who hasn’t got many more years left in him.
To summarise it was yet another very solid performance with a free scoring attacking line. Lingard, Mata and Herrera are the 3 players I believe make the attack tick and so all 3 of them should be starting most games this season. Rooney and Zlatan is not a pairing that works though and so Mourinho should take that into consideration, whilst we could also hopefully see more of Fosu-Mensah in the deep lying midfield role.
David De Gea: 7.
Matteo Darmian: 6.
Chris Smalling: 6.
Eric Bailly: 6.
Luke Shaw: 7.
Michael Carrick: 7.
Paul Pogba: 8 (my man of the match).
Jesse Lingard: 8.
Juan Mata: 8.
Anthony Martial: 7.
Wayne Rooney: 6.
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