Manchester United had an excellent return to Old Trafford as they secured a decidedly convincing 3-0 win over Sheffield United. The thumping came entirely via Anthony Martial who netted his first professional hattrick.
The Red Devils put up a solid display throughout the ninety minutes and a largely composed style of play dominated the fixture.
In fact, fans have zeroed down on the performances of one man in particular.
Nemanja Matic was exceptional during the outing and the numbers certainly prove it. With 103 touches and over 93 passes, the most of any United player on the pitch, the Serb was an adept midfielder.
Nemanja Matic lead United in touches (103), pass accuracy (94.9%), passes completed (93) and recoveries (8). pic.twitter.com/eNsc6j0qmB
— UtdArena (@utdarena) June 24, 2020
This Nemanja Matić remontada. When he’s rested, he’s still a top, top defensive midfielder. We need to make him live in an ice bath.
— Jordan Clarke (@FourFourJordan) June 24, 2020
I find Nemanja Matic so aesthetically pleasing idk why, his strides line breaking passes and ability to be so composed
— Jay (@NotoriousManc) June 24, 2020
We saw prime Nemanja Matic today.
— The United Link 🏆 (@TheUnitedLink) June 24, 2020
His role also came through versatility as he was effective both defensively and in the attack. The tendency to keep slotting into the backline ensured that Sheffield United had absolutely no hope of penetrating.
His impact was quite telling when one observed that he was the only non-defensive player that Solskjaer elected to keep on the pitch as he utilized all of his five substitutions on resting younger legs.
Performances like this are a testament as to why the Red Devils have still held on to the 31-year-old. There are few as good as him in the holding position.
Meanwhile, his successor Scott McTominay will have to remain patient and learn what he can from him in order to fully make an impact when his time comes.