I chose not to speak about the stoke game until United’s champions league return, so I’ll address my concerns from the stoke game in this game.
A new back four
With Jones and Bailly serving their suspensions, Mourinho decided to give minutes to Smalling and our new signing Lindelof. The Fullbacks were also changed, because Valencia needs to be fully fit for the premier league. I thought Young played okay. He put in some good crosses, but he can’t beat a man the same as Valencia. Blind did okay too. He put in an amazing cross for Lukaku. Both Smalling and Lindelof were okay too. They didn’t have much to do but I wasn’t filled with confidence when Basel did occasionally attack. Lindelof got caught out once or twice and Smalling just didn’t look confident. Overall it did show our depth, and the more minutes they get the more they’ll be ready if there is an injury to our first back line. I’m still not sure what that backline is though. Both Jones and Bailly didn’t look great at Stoke. Both were to blame for the goals conceeded. Bailly played Choupo-Mouting onside, and Jones didn’t even jump for the second. I hope Mourinho can get these errors out of their games.
I am clearly over exaggerating here, but Fellaini’s importance cannot be faulted. Mourinho constantly stresses how important he is, and I finally get it. Fellaini came on after Pogba’s injury and bossed the game. He gave us his usual aerial threat, and surprisingly did some good defensive work for once. While he wasn’t as good as Pogba in any way, he did his best and did well. I cannot fault him.
Doesn’t he just love a debut. Rashford has now scored on every single debut. His first England game, premier league, league cup, fa cup, Europa league, Manchester Derby and now Champions league. The big stage just doesn’t seem to faze and his impact was clearly noted with a good ball.
Another game, another goal for our new number 9. Lukaku only got the one goal but overall he had a good performance. His build up play was good and ran the channel brilliantly. He has evolved how we play and will be hard to replace if he ever gets injured.
It’s rumoured he could be out for 5-6 weeks. This could be a huge loss for us. He is our tempo and our extra quality in midfield. Against Everton I can see Herrera starting, because he can offer something similar to Pogba. But I could be surprised with Fellaini playing. Everton haven’t been great and have absolutely no goal threat. So 4-2-3-1 should be our formation of choice. Let’s hope for the win and to continue our fine start to the season.