Manchester United left it very, very late to snatch all three points from a resilient Middlesbrough side with goals from Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba turning it around.
A Fitting Tribute To Sir Alex
The spectacular final flourish from United was reminiscent of the comebacks that became synonymous with Fergie’s reign. It wasn’t Bayern Munich and it wasn’t the Champions League Final but it was phenomenally important.
It was the perfect birthday present for the big man.
Paul Pogba Was Incredible
The world’s most expensive player struggled at times in the first half with some misplaced passes interspersed with some moments of brilliance. In the second period, he was all class. His glorious pass for Zlatan Ibrahimovic led to the equaliser and his headed winner was far more difficult than he made it look. The experience he showcased in the minutes after belied his tender age.
Ander Herrera Is Future Captain Material
With Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney quite possibly departing the club in the summer and Chris Smalling’s inconsistent performances meaning he’s far from guaranteed a starting spot, United could soon be looking for a new captain.
Paul Pogba will be too young and Antonio Valencia too old, Ander Herrera will be just right. His commanding display from midfield this afternoon and the way he rallied the troops when needed reminded many of Roy Keane and showed he must be a frontrunner for the armband.
More Horrific Refereeing
The year is 2021. Marcus Rashford is brutally maimed by the opposing centre-back. The ref waves play on.
United were bizarrely denied a perfectly legal goal in the first half and Lee Mason ignored several legitimate penalty claims in the second period, seemingly hell-bent on overseeing a Boro win. It’s not the first time a ref has produced a nightmare performance at Old Trafford this season but today, finally, justice prevailed.
Anthony Martial Was Back To His Best
A brilliant run set up the goal that wasn’t in the first half and his composed finish started the comeback. He rattled the post in the first half with a thunderous strike and his pace and dynamism had Aitor Karanka’s side terrified. It’s been a struggle for the former Golden Boy this term but he goes into 2017 in sparkling form.
Rory Murphy, Pundit Arena