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…
- Luke Shaw adds to impressive body of work in United’s win against Burnley
- Paul Pogba is on fire with four assists in five games
- Manchester United fans react to Mason Greenwood’s performance
- Cavani needs one more substitute goal to equal Solskjaer record
- Jack Grealish responds to Dean Henderson’s new look
- Joel Glazer comments in announcement to plan Super League
- ‘Absolute scandal’… Gary Neville rages against proposed European Super League reports and Glazers
- Three big positives from Manchester United’s win over Burnley
- What channel is the Man Utd v Burnley Premier League match on? Kick off time, live stream and latest team news
- Three key questions as Raphael Varane to Manchester United links ramp up
- Youngster Malachi Sharpe undergoes first Manchester United academy training session