What a return that was from Eric Bailly. The Ivory Coast international made his comeback against Chelsea and produced a towering performance.
He had an errant pass in the opening stages which suggested it could be a shaky night. After that point he did not put a foot wrong.
Bailly was dominant in the air and quick to react on the ground to any danger.
He had three outstanding moments which if Phil Jones had tried, probably would have ended in calamity.
The first was an expertly timed slide tackle inside his own box in the first half.
Moments later he was seen spinning on the ball inside his own penalty area to relieve pressure, instead of simply booting the ball up field.
In the second half he produced a fantastic sliding block to deny Mateo Kovacic a shot on goal when he had seemed in acres of space.
It had David de Gea running out to him to celebrate and thank him for his contribution.
In the mix
Bailly’s performance has put him in the mix for a regular starting spot now for United.
He took advantage of Victor Lindelöf’s absence to play this evening and now could keep the Swede out of the side.
A lot could depend on whether United play with three centre-backs or two.
It was important for Bailly to make his comeback before Axel Tuanzebe, and he has now climbed above him in the race for a position, with his teammate still working his way back from injury.
Bailly won five aerial duels, more than any player on the pitch, and blocked three shots in total.
Here is a look at how United fans reacted to his performance…
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