Manchester United fought their way past a resilient Hull defence as Marcus Rashford gave the Red Devils the win in stoppage time.
The game was billed as the battle of the two table toppers but it was evident which side had the impetus to win the game as Hull City were happy to sit back and soak the unrelenting Manchester United pressure. Curtis Davies & co. seemed to have earned a resilient point against Jose Mourinho’s men as Hull kept their opponent from troubling the score-keepers in regulation time.
But English teen sensation Marcus Rashford got on the end of a beautifully laid out flat cross after a brilliant piece of individual play by captain Wayne Rooney and the United youngster made no mistake in slotting the ball home to give United a win with Jose Mourinho’s first Fergie-time goal of his Manchester United career. The Hard Tackle takes a look at a few talking points from the game.
1. Curtis Davies & co. would feel hard done-by
Mike Phelan marshalled his troops well against Manchester United and his strategy to box United out almost paid dividends with his side defending marvelously to keep the Red Devils at bay for 90 minutes. Curtis Davies was arguably the best player on the pitch during the whole match as the veteran was seemingly everywhere blocking United’s attempts at goal and intercepting key passes.
It was El Mohamady’s lapse of concentration at the right corner of the pitch that let Rooney past him and set up Rashford that broke the Tigers’ hearts. But, the former United coach would take heart from the way his side defended and almost snatched a point against a side that seems to be looking more and more like the United of old.
2. Youngster Marcus Rashford proving himself time and again
Marcus Rashford is a name that seems likely to be on the lips of Manchester United fans for years to come. The youngster produced another scintillating display of his skills and terrorized the Hull City defence after coming on and was the harbinger of doom for the Tigers, as he scored the only goal of the game deep into stoppage time.
Marcus Rashford’s game by numbers vs. Hull:
89% pass accuracy
1 take-on completed
1 chance created
1 goal pic.twitter.com/vOdBLErQdx
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 27, 2016
If there was any doubt in Jose Mourinho’s mind regarding the quality of Marcus Rashford, the teen sensation would have surely allayed all of them with his impressive performance. Rashford lit up the field with his presence and his contribution within the 20 minutes he was given outdid others that saw a far more substantial amount of game time against Hull.
The youngster displayed an array of his skills as he produced amazing displays in terms of pace, dribbling, crossing, vision and finishing. The future looks bright for Manchester United’s attack and the footballing world is the player’s oyster if he keeps on putting together strings of performances like the one on Saturday evening.
3. Martial form a cause for worry
Almost every player seems to have elevated his performances after the appointment of Jose Mourinho with Marouane Fellaini looking like a world-beater in his new-found role as an enforcer and anchor-man in the midfield. Everyone but Martial. The forward’s form has seen a sharp dip from last season and the Frenchman must be wary of losing his starting spot to either Rashford or Mkhitaryan if his struggles continue.
Jose Mourinho had reportedly had a talk with Martial regarding his form but it seemed to have had no effect on his display at Hull as the French star looked out of sorts on the pitch and was hugely disappointing before being brought off for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
4. Shaw and Bailly dazzle again in another clean sheet for United
If there is one thing common between the reign of Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, it is the solid back-line. The defence seemed to have retained or even improved to an extent under the Portuguese manager as United recorded their second clean sheet of the season in just three games.
Eric Bailly’s game by numbers vs. Hull:
100% aerial duels
Immense again. pic.twitter.com/KE6rvYhloj
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 27, 2016
With Hull City bogged down under United’s attacking pressure, Luke Shaw spent most of his time attacking than defending. But it was the performance of Eric Bailly that caught the eye once again. The Ivory Coast international had another near-faultless game at the heart of the defence and has seemed to have adjusted to the rigors of the Premier League without breaking a sweat.
5. The advent of Jose time ?
Manchester United fans were delirious as United secured their first win in Fergie time under Jose Mourinho and the Portuguese seems to have captured the imagination of the United fans with the club’s performances despite only three league games into the season.
Even though United were almost about to be held to a draw, what was impressive was the impetus and urgency with which the United players brought the ball forward in an attempt to gain maximum points in the dying moments of the game which ultimately paid off.
There seems to be a new-found hunger and desire in the United dressing room under Jose Mourinho and even though the Portuguese said after the game that he was proud to hear the fans say that the team won in Fergie time out of respect and love for the great Sir Alex Ferguson, one is certain that Jose would not mind the fans if they start calling it Jose time in the near future.