Under-appreciated Darmian was key in Man United’s win over Chelsea

Most Manchester United fans wouldn’t describe Matteo Darmian’s Old Trafford career as a success, and most wouldn’t be surprised to see the Italy international move on this summer.

Despite being signed by the Dutchman in summer 2015, Darmian seemed to fall out of favour with Louis van Gaal midway through last season and things haven’t gone particularly better for him under Jose Mourinho, making just eleven starts in the Premier League this term.

But the versatile defender was called to action on Sunday as United entertained Premier League pace setters Chelsea at Old Trafford and despite his questionable reputation, he was pivotal in Mourinho’s side claiming an impressive 2-0 win.

Usually a full-back, Darmian lined up as part of a three-man defence alongside Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly, providing vital defensive nous and ball-winning ability alongside them. Indeed, he finished the match with the most tackles of any United player, and also made two clearances and two interceptions.

But what really stands out from our above infographic is the fact Darmian didn’t commit a single foul, in a game that saw referee Bobby Madley award a whopping 31.

Before this weekend, United averaged the second-most fouls per match of any Premier League side, so for Darmian not to commit any against one of the most potent counter-attacks in Europe and keep a clean sheet whilst not playing in his natural position shows how composed and talented a defender he really is.

Maybe Darmian’s future shouldn’t be away from Old Trafford after all.

 


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