Yesterday’s showing of the Red Devils against Club Brugge in their Champions League qualifying match was more than impressive. Last night’s match can comfortably pass as their best performance in 2015.
Every keen observer of Van Gaal, his tenure at Old Trafford and his team’s performance in recent past may have concluded that the Dutchman is in an unending loop of experimentation.
Memphis Depay’s brace and assist which summed up the game at the end of 90 minutes puts the English club very close to qualifying for “Europe” this season – despite Michael Carrick’s own goal.
What really happened?
After the first two matches in the EPL this season, tongues waggled. Depay should play on the wing; Rooney’s centre-forward position needs a backup badly.
The match saw Manchester United line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation instead of the usual 4-3-3 setup. Depay, Januzaj and Mata played behind Rooney which resulted in a different dimension of play. Mata drifted from the right in order to create chances from the middle; Januzaj;s movements were clever and more towards wide areas; Depay cut inside to hit shots from his stronger foot.
At the end of the day Club Brugge’s midfield was unable to contain these serendipitous movements. No one had expected Manchester United to play with such style and brilliance.
It is expected that Van Gaal sticks to this setup in the upcoming games – except he is still experimenting. Securing a place in the Champions League this season is definitely a good milestone to achieve. If United continues to play this way, then we have for ourselves an interesting race to the top of the EPL .Follow @FootyLogue