Manchester United are still enjoying the Saturday’s victory against their city rivals, after an incredible second-half three-goal comeback. Jose Mourinho’s boys responded in astonishing fashion to erase the 2-0 lead Manchester City had at half-time and won the match when they needed it the most.
It has not been easy in recent months for United, especially after that loss to Sevilla at Old Trafford, but letting your fierce rivals to clinch the title by beating you was unacceptable. And players showed up in second half to make sure that did not happen. Yesterday we talked about what we learned from that match, but here are some other things Manchester United should look to build on.
The Ruthlessness Factor
It was a proper game of two halves. Manchester City were brilliant in first 45 minutes, but then United made sure the title race was prolonged for some time. When they were 2-0 down, they showed up and hurried City into mistakes. We talked about United learning from Liverpool’s midweek win in Champions League and that is what happened.
They brought chaos onto the pitch. After Pogba’s first goal, City’s players were starting to doubt themselves and after the second they did not even talk between themselves, there was no reaction. That ruthlessness from Manchester United will be needed next season if they truly want to be the new champions of England.
Alexis Sanchez’s Tireless Performance
Many pundits were saying Alexis Sanchez was in poor form when he arrived from Arsenal and they were right. The Chilean did not look great during first month and a half at the club, but he then started picking himself up. And that culminated in tireless performance against City, the club that wanted him so much last winter.
Sanchez had two assists to his name, completed four out of six dribbles and made two interceptions. He was everywhere and doing everything and his energy was the thing United really needed when they went behind.
Paul Pogba’s Leadership
Is there any real point in talking about this? Much criticized, Pogba proved everyone wrong. Well, not completely, as Pogba has often been poor against top 6 sides, but this time he was the one to drag the team forward. He was not only scoring the goals that leveled the result, but brought drive and belief that the result could be very different.
Manchester United need to get that Pogba for the whole of next season, not the wandering Pogba from the first half or many other matches this season – notably Tottenham. There is a long way for this team to go and Pogba really should be the one to have a team built around him.
Improving The Central Areas
This is something that the club will probably work on during the transfer window. Manchester United need to strengthen central defence and probably add a man or two in central midfield as well. Chris Smalling maybe scored the winning goal, but his poor reaction prior to City’s opener showcased why his time at the club could be over.