Paul Pogba rightly got a lot of credit for his game changing performance against Tottenham.
But another midfielder also had an important, slightly more underrated impact.
Nemanja Matic came on in the 77th minute and it was his pass which set United free down the right flank, leading to Pogba winning the penalty.
Matic is renowned for his defensive ability, and his passing often gets overlooked.
The Serbian likes to be direct, and his pass up the pitch leading to United’s goal was incisive.
In a game where Scott McTominay and Fred were too safe and did not take enough risks, it was refreshing to see.
Matic was brought on to help unleash Pogba in an attacking sense, and it worked.
Pogba linked up well with Bruno Fernandes initially, before Jose Mourinho made two substitutions to try and swarm the Frenchman.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had one more tactical adjustment in response, bringing on Matic, and it gave Pogba more freedom.
Have United found the best three man midfield? It’s possible. Matic, Pogba and Fernandes have a bit of everything, and United’s best play came when they were all on the pitch.
Matic created one chance, and made two clearances during his brief showing, and it would be a surprise if he does not start in the team’s next game.
United supporters had praise for the veteran midfielder’s brief performance. Here’s a look…
- For Bruno Fernandes even to be compared to Eric Cantona is quite special
- Solskjaer says Matic is ‘hugely ambitious’ as he signs new United deal
- Solskjaer says he expects Martial and Rashford to both kick on now
- Who is reported Manchester United target Facundo Pellistri?
- Can Mason Greenwood make it to 20 goals this season?
- Manchester United fans react to reports Matic has signed new deal
- Antonio Valencia a free agent again after LDU Quito contract terminated
- Assessing Manchester United’s defensive options after Lindelof injury scare
- Nemanja Matic reported to have agreed new contract extension