ClaretandHugh’s Niall McDonald casts his eyes back at a stunning night!
This was an incredible performance given the importance of the game, the emotions and fanfare surrounding it, the quality of the opposition, the delays on the night – and all coming off the back of the debacle against Swansea a few days before.
div>Randolph: The stats show Utd scored 2 of their 3 shots on target. I didn’t think he had much chance with the 2 that went in. A lovely Cruyff turn in the 6 yard box delighted the BML 6Antonio: What a difference 3 days make! Had clearly undergone a crash-course in ‘how to play right-back’ since Saturday and it paid off. Magnificent going forward and gave De Gea no chance with his goal 8Ogbonna: Kept young Rashford very quiet indeed – in fact while writing this I had to check that he was actually playing 8Reid: Seemed to grow in strength and energy the longer the game went on. Covered for Antonio several times and left with the honour of ‘Last goal-scorer at the Boleyn’ 8Cresswell: I need to think of new ways to describe these typically efficient Cresswell performances… got involved in some great stuff down the left in the first half 7Noble: Another supreme effort against one of the so-called ‘top teams’. Positive on the ball and ran to the final whistle 9Kouyate: His dominance in the middle of the park forced LVG into a change at the break, and Carrick fared no better against Cheik in the second half 8Lanzini: I’m not certain all the scurrying and harrying his really his forte, but he really gives it 110%. Last night Lanzini showed how good on the ball he can be 7Payet: Showed an intensity and focus that just wasn’t there against Swansea. Involved in every significant attack and set-piece. May have prevented a pitch-invasion by not scoring a trademark late free-kick 8Carroll: Relished the battle with Smalling and some very good hold-up play from the big man. One-on-ones not his strong point though, and shot tamely when through on goal. Another booking for one of his customary late tackles from behind 6Sakho: Got the party started with an invaluable, and very well taken, early goal. 7Subs:Tomkins: The change Bilic didn’t make on Saturday! Released Antonio on the right in the closing stages 5Obiang: Helped shore things up near the end, which, crucially we did without dropping to our 18-yard line 5Valencia: I didn’t think we’d see Enner again after the Man Utd cup game, and then after the Leicester game, but we saw him briefly last night. A very late sub to give Payet his well-deserved ovation from the Boleyn crowdUNITED WATCH: De Gea played the role of pantomime villain magnificently; from bursting the beach-ball in the early stages, turning and giving the BML the full fist-pump treatment after setting up their equaliser, and then very nearly keeping out Reid’s winner. One of the few genuinely top-class players I’ve seen at the Boleyn in any colour of shirt this season. Fair play to him!