Manchester United kept their second place on the table safe with a 3-1 win over Newcastle United.
Marcus Rashford’s opening goal was cancelled out by Allan Saint-Maximin in the first 45 minutes. In the second half, the hosts came out the stronger of the two sides as Daniel James put the home side on driving seat with a calculated finish in the 57th minute.
The Welshman wasn’t a popular name on the teamsheet. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer benched Mason Greenwood, and rewarded James for his influential performance against Real Sociedad.
Similar to his Turin outing, the 23-year-old was heavily involved again tonight. Apart from his goal, he held width down the right, creating space for Nemanja Matic and Fred to progress the ball towards away side’s box.
The United gaffer, who risked post-match criticism for giving the nod to James, was naturally delighted with the winger’s energetic display.
“He [James] never disappeared. He has been working hard behind the scenes and always been available. He is always a player you can use in different areas with his energy and pace,” Solskjaer told BT Sport.
With three goals and an assist in his last three appearances, it seems the former Swansea City man has got his confidence back, and fans are starting to take the note of the same.
I know some people won’t like to hear this but Daniel James was one of the best players on the pitch.#MUFC
— Oliver (@Kebiruesuana) February 21, 2021
Oiiii August 2019 Dan James might actually be back, no shouts of Welsh Arjen Robben this time though please lads
— Pøgba Senior (@TheSaItIsHere) February 21, 2021
Daniel James deserves all the credit that he’s getting today. Impressive and put in a brilliant shift.
— The United Link 🏆 (@TheUnitedLink) February 21, 2021
Daniel James is not the most talented player in our squad, that goes without saying, but what he is is someone who will give absolutely everything he has from minute one until the last. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
— Daniel (@UtdApollo) February 21, 2021
Daniel James had a great performance vs. Newcastle — his runs into space, movement, inverting to the central spaces to progress the ball, crossing into the box, tracking back…and that finish.
He executed his role perfectly. My MOTM. pic.twitter.com/3m32Lvb4ND
— Maram (@utdmaram) February 21, 2021
As Man United brace themselves for a tough league run, expect to see a lot more of James in the coming weeks, especially in games where Solskjaer might rely heavily on counter attacks.