Manchester United continue enjoying the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as the Devils comfortably won 3-1 against Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day. The affair at Old Trafford was a pretty straight-forward one, which is not something Man United fans have been seeing in past few months.
The goals came through Nemanja Matic, who gave United the lead after a tap in following a corner, before Paul Pogba added a brace of goals in second half. It was Zanka, Huddersfield’s centre-back, who scored the final goal of the match after 88 minutes, when the final outcome was already known.
Here is what we learned from the second consecutive win.
Juan Mata Was Unstoppable
This was the night when Huddersfield players simply could not ways to stop Juan Mata. The Spaniard has been one of the best players on the pitch and even though the headlines will not go to him, after Pogba scored twice, but it was him who made things happen throughout. In fact, that might be the usual thing, as Mata often does good job under the radar, without getting as much recognition from the public as he probably should.
Mata roamed around, but mainly played on the right, finding the pockets in-between the lines from where he was going to create. He did not make the most dribbles, nor did he create the most chances in this match, but it was his moves that created problems, before unlocking his teammates to continue the run.
Paul Pogba Enjoys The Managerial Change
That is an obvious thing. Whether he really enjoys that Jose Mourinho is not at the club anymore or that he truly is “freed” now, it is hard to tell from the outside. What is certain is that Pogba’s performances against Cardiff and Huddersfield are much better than most of those he had this season.
On this occasion, Pogba scored two goals, one of them after a ricochet in the box falling to him, and the other from long range. Both were precise and with enough strength on them, but it was everything else that told the story of Pogba enjoying himself. He was making flick-ons, creating chances and even doing more defensive work.
Man United Offered Chances To Huddersfield
Man United did concede a late goal that did not hurt them, but they could have fallen behind after just nine minutes, when Terence Kongolo shot high over the bar from seven or eight yards out. No one truly regarded this chance as a big one, but if Kongolo was just a bit more balanced in his posture, this could have been a goal giving Huddersfield an early lead.
In the end, it was those two chances United conceded. Not too many, but against a team struggling in attack as much as Terriers, it is something the Devils should pay attention to.
Rashford Needs To Improve Shot Quality
Marcus Rashford loves playing as a centre-forward and it is good that he is getting chances in that position. What is not good are the positions from where he shoots. He still seems to be thinking like a winger in regards to shooting, too often taking low-quality shots from wide-left. Also, plenty of those shots come from outside of the box and combined with the width, that is not a good combo.
Sure, Rashford can score goals from there, like he did from a free-kick last weekend, but he should be focused on taking the chances in the box and making his mindset more suited to a centre-forward.