Manchester United moved to inside simply three factors of fourth place with victory over Fulham on Sunday night, with Erik ten Hag’s males working out 2-1 winners courtesy of some late heroics from super-sub, Alejandro Garnacho.
The highly-rated 18-year-old’s stoppage-time strike helped to finally spare the away facet’s blushes at Craven Cottage, with the Pink Devils having confronted an actual stern take a look at towards an opposition who’ve made a clean return to life within the Premier League.
The heartbeat of Marco Silva’s facet – and the sport’s Man of the Match – was seemingly summer time signing Joao Palhinha, with the Portugal worldwide producing a usually industrious efficiency from his defensive midfield berth.
If issues had panned out otherwise, nevertheless, the 27-year-old may properly have been lining up for the guests on the day, with reviews earlier this 12 months suggesting that the membership have been extensively scouting the towering colossus, who has been described as being “as robust as an Ox” by Sky Sports activities reporter Jamie Weir.
Whereas these reviews had come previous to Ten Hag’s arrival, the Dutchman might properly remorse not following up on that curiosity, with the previous Sporting CP man having showcased his expertise with what was an all-round show on the weekend.
The 15-cap ace – who was signed by the Cottagers for a reported charge of simply £17m – seemingly didn’t need to be on the shedding facet having notably made 9 tackles within the centre of the park, with that tally probably the most of any participant in a Premier League sport this season.
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The 6 foot 3 brute additionally impressively received ten of his 13 floor duels and two of his three aerial duels, having additionally come near getting himself on the scoresheet in spectacular vogue within the second half, solely to see his audacious over-head kick try punched away by David De Gea.
Such a displaying has been no mere anomaly, nevertheless, with Palhinha having been in standout type all through the early months of the season, notably rating within the prime 1% for tackles made amongst these in his place throughout Europe – a file even higher than that of rising United hero Casemiro, with the Brazilian solely rating within the prime 6% for that metric.
Not that there will likely be any regrets over the addition of the previous Actual Madrid man, though it might sting that the 30-year-old value over £50m greater than the Fulham maestro – at a value of £70m – proving simply what a “discount” the latter man has been, as per journalist Joe Prince-Wright.
Ten Hag hasn’t obtained a lot mistaken in his time at Outdated Trafford to date, but lacking out on Palhinha – who may have doubtlessly slotted in alongside Casemiro have been he to have signed – seems one thing of a howler, having seen the Lisbon-born ace nearly lead his facet to victory on Sunday.