Raphael Varane strong in United win as he builds Lindelof partnership
Raphael Varane produced a towering performance as Manchester United beat Brentford 3-1.
Tasked with shutting down Ivan Toney, a physical and awkward striker to deal with, along with pacy forward Bryan Mbeumo.
The former Real Madrid defender was more than up to the task, showing how he is settling into English football.
This was Varane’s fourth consecutive start and fifth in the last six games. He is making the £34 million United spent on him look like the bargain we hoped it would be.
The France international won nine aerial duels, more than any player on the pitch. Toney won only three.
Varane made six clearances, won three tackles, and also blocked one shot. He was effective playing the ball out from the back, completing 83 per cent of his passes.
Partnership with Lindelof growing
The only goal United conceded came after United shifted to three at the back, and unsurprisingly it came from a set piece.
It was a big call from Ralf Rangnick to leave Harry Maguire out. With three games in seven days, and Maguire being fresh, we had expected the captain to come back in, probably at Victor Lindelof’s expense.
Rangnick stuck with the partnership of Varane and Lindelof and it paid off. The Swede was also sharp, blocking two shots and making six clearances.
Maguire faces a real battle to get back into the site, with Varane and Lindelof growing as a pairing.
When Varane signed, Lindelof was expected to be the odd one out. The Swede has stepped up in recent weeks and stated to establish a partnership with Varane, which Maguire has struggled to do so far.
United should pick the best combination for the team, regardless of who the individual is, or whether or not they wear an armband.
Ralf Rangnick is sticking true to this, he is not afraid to make the tough calls. Both Varane and Lindelof are likely to start against West Ham this coming weekend.
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