Now that is exactly what you call “a response” by Manchester United today. The first two weeks went about as awful as possible, and they entered tonight’s 2-1 win over Liverpool at Old Trafford in dead last place.
But they brought it today, decisively defeating their biggest of arch-rivals (who have been owning them lately), in the kind of game that can reinvigorate a season. And we absolutely called this upset, on our podcast After Extra Time this past week. My co-host Stuart Kavanaugh saw it all coming.
There were heroes all over the place today, but we’ll start in the attack, which was much maligned and deservedly so. Two overhyped and overpaid Englishmen, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, got on the score sheet tonight. And boy did they both need it.
What a nice move by Sancho to set up the shot! OMG! He roasted the whole Liverpool back line, and in the process became the first MUFC goal-scorer of this season.
Nerves of steel.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 22, 2022
Rashford, who had a monster game, had about as fun a goal celebration as you’ll ever see. Watch as he takes out the flagpole- spiking it like a NFL player does with the football in the end zone.
Marcus Rashford was a menace this evening ? pic.twitter.com/hYiKZDDFrZ
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 22, 2022
HOOK THIS RASHFORD CELEBRATION IN MY VEINS pic.twitter.com/TcidmlKKEr
— ? (@UTDCJ_) August 22, 2022
Shifting to the back, Raphael Varane had probably his best game ever in a United shirt. His center back partner, Lisandro Martinez, gave a man of the match performance himself. This has to be United’s first choice CB pairing moving forward, period.
It’s obvious for anyone to see- Erik ten Hag knows what he’s doing and he’s figured this aspect of the depth chart out.
Varane’s new instagram post ?? pic.twitter.com/qACyhOSZug
— Theo (@Thogden) August 22, 2022
But the big winner here is no doubt Ten Hag! He put his stamp on the team today, benching guys that badly needed be left out of the first team. He played his guys and they produced. His putting the side through intense conditioning, on their day off, paid off.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.ashorFollow paulmbanks