Nemanja Matic’s resurgence to form has been one of Manchester United’s biggest positives in 2020.

Matic began the season looking like a spare part, even in a United midfield low on options.

Now he is looking like a key player in United’s starting XI and is improving with each and every game.

What is clearly noticeable about Matic is his new found drive to push United forward when in possession.

A previous common criticism of his game has been that he plays too safe, with backwards or sideways passes not helping the team to attack.

After creating five chances in the victory over Watford, Matic provided an assist against Everton, quickly playing a pass forward into Bruno Fernandes after winning back possession, for the new signing to shoot and score past Jordan Pickford from long range.

While it wasn’t an eye-popping defence splitting pass, the simple fact Matic instinctively played the ball up the pitch into Fernandes’ path highlighted the improvement he has made to his game over the past month.

(Photo by Ben Early – AMA/Getty Images)

Key player

Like the rest of the United team, Matic tired as the game went on and both sides could have won a match which ended 1-1.

 

Matic came close to scoring himself, hitting the bar from the edge of the area early on with United a goal down.

Defensively he led the team with four interceptions, remarkably this was more than the rest of the team combined, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka managed two, Luke Shaw one, and the rest none.

Tactically, the team was set out for Matic to shine in this way, with the Serbian at the base of the diamond.

But it can’t be disputed that he did his job very well, and contributed effectively offensively too.

He will be important next week against Manchester City, a team he scored the winner again last time around.

Here is a look at how fans reacted to his performance…

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