Manchester United were frustrated against AC Milan in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening with a late goal pegging the Red Devils back.
The hosts looked like they were going to seal a 1-0 victory thanks to Amad Diallo’s first goal for the club, only for Simon Kjaer’s header to deny them in the final moments. It was a frustrating night in all with a host of chances being missed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops.
It wasn’t all bad news, however, with a few eye-catching displays – one of those coming from 31-year-old Nemanja Matic.
The Serbian destroyer was deployed alongside Scott McTominay in the centre of the park for the hosts and arguably echoed back to his peak with a thoroughly dominant performance against the Italian giants.
According to WhoScored, the £10.8m-rated former Chelsea man produced no fewer than five tackles, with no player on either side contributing more. It was a brilliant defensive performance from Matic throughout the 90 minutes as he also contributed a further three interceptions and two blocks.
His contributions were not just limited to reclaiming the ball for the Red Devils, either. Matic actually made more passes than any of his team-mates with 67, whilst he also had a better pass success rate (86.6%) than the inspirational Bruno Fernandes (84%), per WhoScored.
The Serbian’s performance was all the more impressive then considering that he was making just his seventh start in all competitions since the turn of the year.
With Matic confirming to O Jogo before the match that he had no intention of departing Old Trafford for the foreseeable future, he could potentially be a crucial player for United as they continue their challenges in the Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup, especially if he continues to be a dominant figure in midfield.