Nemanja Matic has had a very mixed season up until this point. Over the last couple of games in particular, he has started to show signs of real improvement.
Against Real Sociedad he was one of United’s best players, featuring for all 90 minutes against the Spaniards in a 0-0 second leg draw.
He did so with a cast of rotating players around him, with Bruno Fernandes and Fred playing just 45 minutes, he had Axel Tuanzebe has his surprise midfield partner.
Matic helped Tuanzebe out, taking control, and also taking advantage of his teammate’s willingness to sit deep, taking the rare chance to roam forward.
Towards the end of the game he even played a one-two inside the Sociedad box before putting in a cross aimed at Anthony Martial.
Matic oozed confidence against a Sociedad team whose confidence seemed drained from their mauling last week.
The slow tempo of the game in the second half certainly suited Matic, and he was able to get on the ball a lot.
Matic had 86 touches in total, more than any Real Sociedad player, while completing 93 per cent of his passes.
Defensively, he did what needed to be done, making two interceptions, winning one header, and blocking one shot.
Will he start on Sunday? The fact he played 90 minutes might suggest not.
United are hoping to get Scott McTominay back from injury, plus Donny van de Beek, and Matic probably won’t be asked to start his third game in eight days.
If he does, at least he is picking up some form. It took until the second half of last season for him to do so too.
Here is a look at how United fans reacted positively to Matic’s performance…
- Ralf Rangnick says Manchester United have a ‘great player’ who needs to improve physically
- 'Over the moon': Manchester United wonderkid gives verdict on own performance and club's Champions League chances
- Rangnick praises two Manchester United players including one who is a 'fantastic person'
- 'I lost the ball'… Manchester United star accepts responsibility for role in Young Boys goal
- 'You deserve'… Bruno Fernandes congratulates teammate on making Manchester United debut
- Hargreaves praises 'really sharp' Manchester United youngster who could start for Rangnick this weekend
- 4 Manchester United players who will regret disappointing performances v Young Boys
- 'Love him', 'Class'… Some Manchester United fans react to teenager's performance v Young Boys
- Manchester United youngster matches Carlos Tevez achievement and best is yet to come
- Zidane Iqbal and Charlie Savage send messages after making Manchester United debut
- 'I'm truly sorry'… Amad sends apology to Manchester United supporters