1. Difficult to highlight just three points from today’s game against Brighton at Old Trafford. The first one to underline has to be how devastating can United’s counterattack be. With the trio of Rashford-Martial-James on top, United have shown the skill and quickness to tear apart teams on the counter. The understanding between the three has been impressive in many opportunities they’ve had to sweep at the opposition. Admittedly, we still lacked sharpness with our shots at goal. Rashford could easily have had a hat-trick, and also Martial could have scored a couple. Kudos to Ole for sticking with three front three despite the challenge of Greenwood for a starting place. If they stay away from injuries and continue to play together for a run of games, we will win more than we draw or lose till the end of the season.
2. Counterattacks must be built on a solid defence, a back six that are capable of nullifying the threats of the opposing team, by keeping the shape and being resolute in the tackles and interceptions. United have been unable to keep clean sheets of late, for one reason or another and particularly in the Premiership. Wan Bissaka was at fault with Bournemouth’s goal last time round and today, it was always going to be a struggle from set pieces with the height of Brighton’s players. This is when you need a goalkeeper that can at least command the six yard box. Brighton’s goal came from a corner which landed on Dunk’s head exactly six yards out and from that close, it’s very difficult for a keeper to parry. However, I expect a keeper to go for this type of crosses and if there is one fault in De Gea’s characteristics is that he rarely comes out for these dead ball crosses.
3. Today’s special focus on a particular player was on Fred. Mamma mia what a performance he had today. I’ve been noticing him finding his feet and getting better game after another. Fred’s performance today was easily a mark 8 for me. He never stopped running and tackling opponents, covering for the wingers when they were out of position, had numerous interceptions and most of all, when he gets the ball, he always tries to pick out a forward pass. Perfect example was the pass to Martial for the third goal and allow me to highlight not just the direction of the pass but also the weight on it. He is finding time to get further forward such as against Brighton where he had an excellent shot parried by Ryan and against the bar. Onwards and upwards.
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