Manchester United took a considerable step towards securing a UEFA Champions League position on Sunday by edging past West Ham United 1-0 at Old Trafford.
It wasn’t so much a game blessed with attacking finesse with just Craig Dawson’s unfortunate own-goal enough to separate the two sides at Old Trafford.
However, it was a clash filled with defensive discipline as the Red Devils battled to secure their 12th Premier League clean sheet of the campaign.
Whilst Luke Shaw received plenty of praise, and justifiably so, considering his performance at left-back, key to Manchester United’s victory was Harry Maguire.
The Red Devils captain produced a mature and dominant performance, marshalling his team’s backline throughout the game.
According to WhoScored, he produced an interception and clearance, as well as blocking a dangerous West Ham effort.
However, it was in the air where the former Leicester City man was so prolific. He won five aerial duels, ensuring that both Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio were starved of service throughout their trip to Old Trafford.
Maguire also produced seven clearances throughout the game – a high for the clash and as many as the rest of the Manchester United team put together.
United’s defensive tactics appeared to work hugely, with David Moyes’ Hammers being limited to just seven shots during the match, with none of them finding the target.
With Man United securing what could be a hugely important clean sheet and three points, they now more likely than not to book a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
If that occurs, they will surely look back on the victory, and in particular Harry Maguire’s performance, against West Ham as a key moment in their season.