Manchester United fans will be ecstatic over how their side engineered a superb comeback to win 3-2 against Newcastle United at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils didn’t always look to be the better side though. In fact, when they went 2-0 down in the first 10 minutes itself, goals from Kenedy and Muto penning their shock, many faces held a grim expression.
That is when Jose Mourinho took matters into his hands, subbing off Eric Bailly in the 19th minute itself to bring on Juan Mata.
While the effect wasn’t instantaneous, his solid half-time talk certainly had the requisite result, with Mata opening United’s account on the cusp of 70 minutes, which was rapidly followed by a superb Martial strike and culminated in Sanchez, another substitute, netting the winner before injury time.
However, subbing Bailly off has inspired some interesting comments from a familiar source.
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand, now a pundit at BT Sport, had this to say about Mourinho’s choice: “I feel sorry for Scott McTominay – he’s a central midfielder being forced to play centre-half. And this guy… I don’t see a way back for Bailly.”
Interestingly, these comments came during the half-time break, before United were anywhere close to winning back the three points.
Rio added: “Dragged off – the manager stated the last game he doesn’t have defenders who can play the ball out from the back and he’s been made the fall guy here.”
Now that the Mancunian giants firmly secured their victory, it is easy to see why Ferdinand’s comments may have been a bit premature. Many took to Twitter to state the same. However, one does wonder if they may have held some weight to them had the result turned sour.
The Ivorian made dreadful mistakes during his brief tenure on the field, and it is easy to see why Mourinho is desperate for a leader in the heart of United’s defense.