9 Ups and 0 Downs of United’s Huge Win at BrightonGriffochaz
When Virgil Van Dijk came to Liverpool, he transformed them from a Top 4 challenger to title winners within 3 seasons. When Bruno Fernandes came to United, he transformed them from Europa League fodder to Champions League chasers and maybe to title winners within 3 seasons.
Starting with a Liverpool reference on a United article was a risky option but they are the standard at the moment and United are slowly clawing their way back to the top spot they had occupied for so long under Ferguson.
Since lockdown, United have proven they are on an upper trajectory and with everyone performing, Solskjaer has ‘The Red Devils’ playing the way he wants and is arguably the best they’ve played since Fergie.
So, let’s sink our teeth into one of Manchester United’s best performances in the last few years and let’s throw tons of ups at United’s confident win at Brighton.
UP – STARTING HOW YOU MEAN TO GO ON
A few ups and downs articles ago, I said I wasn’t all for giving a starting XI an up on its own but when Ole resists the temptation of resting key players, who am I to resist the temptation to give it an up.
You will have to hike the lands north to south, east to west to find a United fan that thinks the starting XI Solskjaer put out today isn’t the best. There were a few conversations about resting certain players due to the 120 minutes most played against Norwich just 3 days prior, but thankfully the Norwegian legend held back and played the full-strength side. Major up for the cojones Ole showed with that line-up. Speaking of………
UP – SOLSKJAER STICKING IT TO THE BOARD
A few hours before kick-off, a Sky Sports report suggested that Woodward and the United board weren’t going to pay anything over £50m for Jadon Sancho. Yeah Ok Edward. Let me know how you get on with that. What Ole did in response was secretive and cheeky.
This was initially a down but when I received anonymous inspiration, I quickly changed my mind.
When you are 3-0 up, you can take a step back and maybe even send a message to the board. The second half post Fernandes goal was poor. No questions. But what if Ole did this deliberately? Call me an armchair conspiracy theorist but I truly believe Solskjaer brought on the second team to show Woodward the mess United have on the bench and reserves. A masterplan from a mastermind? Let’s just hope The Glazers chose to watch the team they own over a Tuesday episode of Come Dine with Me.
UP – A TURNED ON DE GEA
Before you spam the comments with your innuendo claxons, let me explain myself. David De Gea had the most uneventful 70 minutes of any keeper this season with next to nothing to do and when that’s the case it’s hard to keep your head and remain concentrated but De Gea did just that when he was forced into making two wonder saves in the dying embers of the game.
De Gea has been the hub of abuse over the last few months pre and post lockdown but it’s only right we credit him when he makes two great saves to maintain his deserved clean sheet. A late surge for the Golden Glove is on the cards for the Spaniard.
UP – A WELCOMED SPIDER
Usually when you come across a spider you either do a full 180 and do your best Usain Bolt impression or be a hero and kindly let the spider live a free and healthy life. However, when you see it bossing the right-hand side of the pitch for 90 minutes, you are left in awe.
The only questions surrounding AWB’s game is usually offensively but with an assist today and another overall great performance at that end of the pitch. I would make a case for him being the best summer transfer of the season. Maybe even the best summer transfer in the world.
UP – MAN OF THE MATIC
Who knew 2020 would see United fans singing the praises of a man they were slating at the back end of last year?
Well get your apology tweets out of the drafts and onto the timelines because Matic is a big reason into the midfield’s recent success. His style can allow the likes of Bruno and Pogba to move further forward and create chances a plenty, but he had more than that to offer today.
The move that ended in a third goal and a second for Bruno was starting by Matic with a sublime pass to Greenwood. Not only that but every time Brighton came knocking, Matic wasn’t letting them in. An overall class performance from the Serbian warrior. Keep it up Nemanja.
UP – A PORTUGESE TRANSFER CHANGING UNITED?
Where have we heard that before? That’s right, Luis Nani. Jokes aside, at the top of the article, I demonstrated the importance Bruno has had and will have on United comparing him to the likes of Van Dijk, but his creativity and impact since his January signing has truly been incomparable.
I can’t remember a signing with more of an instant impact than Bruno and he has already gone down as one of United’s best and most important transfers ever. What was admirable about his game today wasn’t just the fact he scored two very good goals and held the midfield on lockdown but to come back from undeserved criticism following the Norwich game and put in a performance like that is truly something to be in love with.
Bruno Fernandes will become one of the leagues best in no time and soon will be matching boots with Kevin De Bruyne. I need to stop comparing United players to rivals, don’t I?
UP – THE FRENCH REVOULTION
If you think I’m dipping into the historical archives and giving the 18th century event an up then you are mistaken. The French I am referring to is Paul Pogba of Manchester United Football Club. Feel free to read that sentence back a few times so it sinks it that ‘The Red Devils’ has one of the worlds best football brains in their ranks.
Pogba has been victim to abuse since his return from Juventus, and sometimes you can see why, but now he’s back giving his all and performing at the top of his game, we should appreciate the man while we still can.
Another masterclass in the centre of the park from Paul today will only continue to fuel the taste buds of United fans and with the rumours of a departure from the club slowly fading, Pogba and his beautiful footballing talent look to be staying at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future.
UP – AGE IS JUST A NUMBER
Age is just a number they say and so is 15 which is the amount of goals scored by Mason Greenwood in all competitions this season, with many of those in appearances off the bench.
I’m going out on a limb here and saying that was Mason Greenwood’s best performance in a United shirt. The sheer quality he brings to that right-hand side and the skill he possesses to drift round defenders with ease is mouth-watering to say the least.
His goal was even spectacular and something the GOAT Lionel Messi would be proud of. His drop of the shoulder sent the Brighton defence to the supermarket and the queues must still be jam packed because they didn’t return for the 90 minutes.
Lastly his cross for Bruno’s second was pinpoint and given the pace he was running at, to put in a ball like that was phenomenal. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and remember this kid is only 18. He will be one of the best footballers on this planet in the future, no doubt.
UP – “IT WAS ONLY BRIGHTON”
Let’s play a game. Which team am I describing? Beat Arsenal twice. Beat Spurs. Got draws over Wolves, Chelsea and Leicester. Answer. Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club.
Many people, mainly rival fans and haters, will tell United fans to pipe down because it was only Brighton, but above shows you the scale of the test Brighton can offer and United played them off the park in that test.
Yes, it wasn’t the hardest match, but neither is any of United’s remaining fixtures so the ‘Red Devils’ need to keep on the job and keep beating what’s in front of them. Realistically, Brighton was one of the harder teams left to face so it comes as a relief that United have got over that potential banana skin with no slipups.
Overall, a fantastic performance from a United side that are really finding their rhythm towards the end of this weird campaign. We will now wait for Chelsea to make their move in this remarkable game of footballing chess. As for United, they move to Bournemouth on Saturday looking to continue this hot run of form post lockdown.
Do you agree with me? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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