Eric Bailly made a perfect return for Manchester United against Real Sociedad.
This was Bailly’s first game in nearly a month since the win over Fulham after he sustained an injury.
After a shaky start when he lost possession in the second minute, Bailly was outstanding as the game progressed.
He made eight clearances, more than any player on the pitch.
Bailly topped it off by managing an assist, from his own half.
Bailly assist, really?
It certainly wasn’t Bailly’s intention when he passed the ball upfield, to directly set up a goal.
His pass was a good one, right into Dan James’ path. The Welshman did the rest. He ran at goal with purpose and drilled it past the goalkeeper into the bottom corner.
Bailly commented after the game to say he could not believe he provided an assist. It was his first one in 97 Manchester United appearances.
Bailly’s message about the tie not being over was echoed by Bruno Fernandes.
While realistically, a 4-0 advantage does put United through, there is still another 90 minutes to approach professionally.
This was an ideal night for United and should lift confidence ahead of a home tie against Newcastle United on Sunday.
Bailly did everything possible to earn another start, but it won’t surprise anybody if Victor Lindelof is brought back in.
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