Eric Bailly Showed He’s Man United’s Best Defender Against Luton Town

Manchester United's Eric Bailly.

Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

Man United’s 3-0 win over Luton Town featured an exceptional defensive display.

The Carabao Cup tie on Tuesday saw an early penalty from Juan Mata and a late flurry of goals from substitutes Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood seal the game in favour of the travelling side.

In terms of defensive performances, it was Dean Henderson’s debut as a goalkeeper that was hailed and the one picturesque save he made also furthered the hype around him.

However, the integral role played by another player at the back was also crucial to the fixture.

Eric Bailly did an incredible job partnering Harry Maguire at the back and fans stormed to Twitter to make their appreciation known.

The Ivory Coast international had positive numbers throughout the game and many even hailed him to be the player of the match for his contributions. The goal-line save he made was perhaps just as impactful as the one that won Henderson much acclaim.


In fact, this performance now begs a vital personnel question for Ole Gunnar Solskjær and company. United’s opening Premier League loss against Crystal Palace hinged just as heavily on their defensive errors as on their attacking shortcomings.

Victor Lindelof was projected as the scapegoat in that fixture and the errors he made certainly warranted criticism. As such, Bailly may have now made a case to be given the start ahead of the Swede.

The 26-year-old’s injury-prone nature has marred his stay at Old Trafford despite arguably possessing a largely positive skillset for a defender.

There have been a lot of pushback from the fans for the club to sign an experienced defender to challenge Lindelof’s spot but if Bailly can maintain fitness and ape such games, there is no reason why he can’t pick up that mantle.

Regardless, it seems likely that the transfer window may not be the solution for centre-back woes just yet.