Rebuilding United defender Eric Bailly after his Paris nightmare
Manchester United were terrific against PSG. Eric Bailly was not.
The defender was taken off in the first half with an injury. This sped up his inevitable early substitution due to poor performance.
Bailly was at fault for Juan Bernat’s equalising goal, when he was guilty of ball watching as the Spaniard stole in behind him to score.
He looked nervous throughout the first half and when Diogo Dalot came on for him, it was a relief.
United’s set up was to blame for Bailly’s problems.
Bailly was asked to play as a right-back, which shifted into a back three when United were defending, with Ashley Young dropping back.
Young and Bailly could not get on the same page and PSG were enjoying success down their side. Only when Dalot came on, did it stem the tide.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s next task is to restore Bailly’s confidence.
Currently the £30 million defender is United’s third choice centre-back, with Phil Jones out injured.
The key is playing Bailly at centre-back, and not asking him to fill in at full-back.
Solskjaer has proven to be a master motivator, brilliant at helping players discover their potential.
This has included restoring Scott McTominay’s confidence, and most recently, Andreas Pereira.
Pereira made a big error against Burnley, and his role at the club was thrown into doubt.
Solskjaer responded by keeping him out of the side for a brief period before reintroducing him.
He also took his time with McTominay before bringing him back into the first team. Both players were key against PSG.
Bailly is unlikely to feature against Arsenal this weekend. However United are just one injury away from needing him.
He needs to be ready, and hopefully the glory of victory allows him to move on from his own performance.