Analysis: David Moyes finally finds his best Manchester United XI
Manchester United beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 on Tuesday evening – and Moyes finally stumbled upon his best XI…
Manchester United’s best XI:
The irony is, the majority of United fans would have been telling you that this was United’s best XI from the moment the transfer window closed – but it took until last night for it to come into fruition.
United beat an inform Leverkusen side with consummate ease – and the 4-2 scoreline actually flattered the high-flying Bundelisga outfit.
Wayne Rooney scored twice, Van Persie added another, and the ultra-impressive Antonio Valencia scored the pick of the goals with a great finish to cap off a fantastic counter-attack.
In short; United looked very good – and it seems as though the new boss has finally stumbled on his best XI.
Keeper and defence:
The back five essentially picks itself. De Gea had a bit of a dodgy game last night, but was the best keeper in the country last season, and more than deserves his place between the sticks.
Patrice Evra is effervescent at left-back, and the Ferdinand/Vidic partnership shouldn’t be broken up just yet, although Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling provide more than adequate backup. Rafael is developing into a seriously good right-back – and was the only player in Moyes’ best XI who didn’t play last night due to injury. Again, Smalling or Jones can provide good backup.
Fellaini has come in and completely changed the make-up of United’s midfield. He sits deep next to Michael Carrick and does the Englishman’s donkey work for him. Carrick has never been the most dynamic midfielder, but Fellaini certainly is – and the partnership looks like it will work fantastically, with Carrick dictating the tempo and Fellaini harassing opponents and recycling possession.
On the wings, Shinji Kagawa finally got his chance on the left, and didn’t disappoint. Although he is naturally a more central attacker, the Japanese playmaker knows he will have to adjust his position due to Wayne Rooney – but he can do a brilliant creative job cutting in from the left, with Evra overlapping him.
Valencia proved last night why he should be Moyes’ first-choice winger. He was the best player on the pitch apart from Wayne Rooney, and provides as good a defensive outlet as he does an attacking one. Valencia was blistering down the right: creating chances, recycling possession and beating the fullback at will.
Again – the front-line surely picks itself. Rooney and Van Persie are both world-class, and with the Englishman capable of dropping deep and playing the no.10 role, the pair could and should form one of the best partnerships in world football. Rooney was back to his scintillating best on Tuesday evening, and showed exactly why Moyes was so desperate to keep him over the summer.
Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez are brilliant deputies, but few could argue that they deserve a place in the side over one of these two.
Van Persie is the best striker in the Premier League, and if he tandems successfully with Rooney this term United should retain the Premier League.