Manchester United maintained their unbeaten record in the FA Cup with a hard-fought victory over Watford at Old Trafford on Saturday night.
Scott McTominay fired the hosts ahead after a sublime pass from Alex Telles, but United struggled to get a foothold in the game against a battling Watford outfit.
After successive victories, United find themselves joint-top of the table with defending Premier League champions Liverpool. Yet there was nothing to choose between the two sides for the majority of the game, as the Red Devils offered very little to suggest the gulf in class with Watford.
McTominay may have opened the scoring, but it was Alex Telles who arguably stole the show at Old Trafford. He took more touches (114) than any other player on the pitch and clearly made all of that possession count as he produced 69 passes out of 86 attempts (80%), as per SofaScore.
Telles was a constant thorn in Xisco Munoz’s side, with a poor clearance the only real blemish. But the rare mistake shouldn’t take the gloss off what was otherwise a sublime performance overall.
He kept on putting passes on a plate for Daniel James, only for the winger to squander several chances to double their lead.
SofaScore graded the £31m-rated 28-year-old with a game-high rating of 8.4 out of ten – he made two tackles, two interceptions and three clearances, whilst he also won six out of his ten duels (60%) overall.
The Brazilian full-back has built a career off the back of his offensive style of play but it was his defensive contributions that didn’t go unnoticed by The Daily Express, with Archie Griggs noting he produced ‘a number of important contributions at the back.’
Telles has had to bide his time for opportunities, with just seven starts from 12 appearances across all competitions, although he will have sent Solskjaer a timely reminder with his latest showing.
With Luke Shaw rested for the FA Cup third round, the club legend could face one of the biggest selection headaches he has had to deal with since taking charge at Old Trafford.
AND in other news, Man United must bite the bullet and sell Phil Jones in January…