Manchester United's three best players against Rochdale

That was hard work. It really should not have been. Manchester United needed a penalty shootout to beat Rochdale.

The feeling when Dan James scored the winning spot kick was one of relief, and embarrassment. Why was a shootout even needed?

It was a difficult game to watch at times, but there were some positives.

Here is a look at three players who impressed for United…

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Axel Tuanzebe

Captain for the night. Tuanzebe was given the armband for the match, a sign of what might be to come one day in the future on a regular basis.

Tuanzebe looked assured throughout the game and dealt with everything which came his way.

There was one moment in the second half where Rochdale got a break and Tuanzebe looked like he was hitting a turbo charge, racing ahead to clear up the danger.

He managed to create two chances when he came forward, and completed 98 per cent of his passes.

One minor criticism, with a little more composure and better positioning, he could have reacted better to clear Rochdale’s equaliser.

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Called in at right-back due to an injury to Diogo Dalot, Wan-Bissaka played a crucial role.

Wan-Bissaka made a goalline clearance as impressive as any you might see.

Rochdale had worked into a position to have a shot at a near open goal from four yards out which would have given them the lead. Wan-Bissaka saved our blushes.

Watch it in real time, or slow motion, it looks better with each replay. Absolute class.


Mason Greenwood

Who else was it going to be to give United the lead? Mason Greenwood showed once again that he is a truly special talent.

In what was perhaps just his second real chance of the game, in the 68th minute he twisted in the box, before lashing low underneath the goalkeeper to give United the lead. It was Astana all over again.

Earlier he had produced a wonderful left footed cross which Paul Pogba headed over when it seemed easier to score. This was one of five chances he created. He can do it all.

Even if Anthony Martial is fit, there is a strong case for Greenwood to start up front against Arsenal on Monday.

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