Manchester United were incredible at Stamford Bridge, securing a 2-0 win over Chelsea. Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire were the goalscorers, with VAR ruling out successful attempts from Kurt Zouma and Olivier Giroud on part of the London Blues.
The disallowed goals were crucial to David De Gea’s coveted cleansheet, particularly because Chelsea had only one shot on target to their name for the entirety of the game.
However, the real credit of the perfect defensive showing ought to be given to the centre-backs up-front, with Eric Bailly, in particular, receiving great praise upon his return.
The 25-year-old centre-back singlehandedly saved United on multiple occasions, the most viral of which was the denial of Matteo Kovacic’s attempt.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had this to say about that particular save: “Absolutely fantastic… his block from Kovacic is out of this world defending.”
The Norwegian gaffer also goes on to add later (via MUTV): “We defended like Lions. Eric was unbelievable.”
What makes this performance particularly special is that Bailly has returned after a long period of injury and right in time given Victor Lindelof’s illness.
In fact, considering that the Swede was himself a bit doubtful on the spot on many occasions so far this campaign, Bailly’s return to fitness also means that the Red Devils have more options to choose from.
Alternatively, if Solskjaer does elect to go ahead with Monday’s back-three-based formation more often in the future, three able centre-backs would do a better job defensively than Luke Shaw. However, that would also remove the pacey extra threat that Shaw brought against Chelsea.
All in all, a player like Bailly further proves just how much quality United already have on their roster and that injuries have been the true villain and one of the primary reasons for their low-points during this campaign.