Eric Bailly was one of several players who produced a great display as Manchester United beat Luton Town 3-0 in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday. We have taken a closer look at his performance against the Championship side in the latest edition of our Unsung Hero feature.
Manchester United did not start their season as planned in the Premier League as they lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace in their first match last weekend and their defence (in particular their centre-backs) received a lot of criticism.
The Red Devils had the cup game away to Luton to put the divisional result behind them, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made changes to give some of his squad a chance to impress. A 3-0 result was definitely a way to do this, with Juan Mata scoring first and then substitutes Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford netting late on, per SofaScore.
However one player whose strong performance at the back seems to have gone under the radar a little is Eric Bailly.
The centre-back shone on the night, and this can be highlighted by the stats as he produced an 8.1 rating, per SofaScore, which was only beaten by Greenwood. Bailly made three clearances and blocked three shots, as well as making two tackles, two interceptions, and even made a goal line clearance, per SofaScore. When it came to competing against the opposition, the 26 year-old won five aerial duels out of six and two ground duels out of four.
More importantly though for a defender, he was part of a defensive unit which kept a clean sheet, and despite this match being against opposition in the division below, it is still a very good achievement due to the Red Devils shipping three goals at the weekend.
The player, who has been capped 34 times for the Ivory Coast, has been at the club since 2016 and he has won the Europa League, the League Cup and the Super Cup whilst at Old Trafford, per Transfermarkt. He is nearing a landmark of making 100 appearances for the side as he has featured 86 times, scoring one goal, but the only problem is that he has missed 62 games since signing due to various injuries, per Transfermarkt.
Yesterday proved that a fully fit Bailly can cause opposition attacks huge problems and with the criticism the defence received following their Premier League loss, the defender has definitely given Solskjaer a selection headache before their next game in the division against Brighton and Hove Albion.
United fans, how impressed were you with Eric Bailly’s performance against Luton? Let us know in the comments below!
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