Nemanja Matic did what United needed in impressive comeback win

When Nemanja Matic starts and Manchester United do not win, he is often pointed at as a problem factor.

At the age of 32, Matic’s best days may be behind him, but he still has plenty to offer.

The Serbian played all 90 minutes in United’s comeback victory against Southampton and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was right to stick with him.

Matic played a key role in United’s 3-2 win against the Saints, even if it went largely unappreciated.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Matic kept United ticking

Southampton barely deserved to lead in the first half, let alone go in at the break 2-0 up.

The difference was simple; they took their chances while United were wasteful in front of goal.

United kept control of the game in the second half and eventually the pressure paid off. Edinson Cavani added a ruthless edge in front of goal.

Matic was key to United matching the Saints for possession, playing them at their own game by closing down their attacks and winning the ball back.

He made five interceptions in total, the highest number of any player on the pitch. Alex Telles followed with four.

Matic won four tackles, the same as Fred and Donny van de Beek. United came prepared for a battle at St Mary’s and it paid off.

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Ultimately, United need to find a younger version of Nemanja Matic to replace him. Right now, the veteran can still perform to a high standard and it showed yesterday.

At 2-0 down United needed the leaders in the squad to step up. Matic was one of those.

Whether he starts in midweek against PSG is another question. If he does, Matic is unlikely to let United down.

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