When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks back at Manchester United’s defeat in Leipzig, one selection decision may haunt him more than most.
Donny van de Beek was brought on at half-time, and United were immediately improved.
United changed system too, and Van de Beek’s impact almost paid off right away.
He was doing what midfielders Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic did not do enough of – he chased the ball down and made runs forward to ask questions of the Leipzig defence.
Nemanja Matic was taken off 15 minutes later, having offered little to the side.
Van de Beek created one chance and won two tackles, driving United forward.
In the first half United were too passive and lacked Van de Beek’s ability to battle high up the pitch.
He provided fresh impetus when the team needed it, and galvanised United to try and fight back.
Fellow substitute Paul Pogba provided some extra quality, and a one-sided loss turned into a 3-2 defeat in which United almost secured a draw.
Van de Beek will now be in contention to start the derby against City at the weekend.
He was badly missed in the first 45 minutes and it was a mistake not to play him.
His efforts were appreciated by supporters amid a result which was hard to take…
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