This season has not been an easy one for Nemanja Matic. He has lost his place as a regular starter and the minds of Manchester United fans have turned to possible replacements.

Even last week against Sheffield United he looked like a weak link, failing to make a single tackle or interception.

So credit where it is due, Matic was vastly improved in the 2-0 victory over Everton.

This was one of his best games of the season, which might not be saying much, but it deserves some acknowledgement.

Everton v Manchester United - Carabao Cup Quarter Final
(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

Better from Matic

Matic had more touches of the ball than any player on the pitch, with 113 in total. Harry Maguire was next with 104 and Paul Pogba on 72.

Unlike at Bramall Lane, Matic stepped in with defensive contributions. He won three tackles and made two interceptions at Goodison Park.

Matic won two aerial duels and also completed 90 per cent of his passes, helping United to come through a tough game.

This was a game which will earn Matic more trust, just as he was beginning to look like playing him was a real downgrade.

He was helped by the way United set up, with four midfielders rather than three, although the shape shifted in the second half.

Last season Matic only really clicked into gear around this time and improved as the season went on. So it is possible he can use this performance to kick on.

FBL-ENG-LCUP-EVERTON-MAN UTD
(Photo by NICK POTTS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Matic won’t change his style at this stage. For some, he slows the game down and is not dynamic enough. Solskjaer has to select him in the right games. For instance, playing him away against Leipzig was not a recipe for success.

Fred will surely come back in to face Leicester, but if Solskjaer chooses to then change it up again for the Wolves game, Matic showed last night he can be a positive, rather than a negative.

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