Paddy McNair was almost a given to start at Cambridge given United need to make sure their fragile centre-backs are wrapped in cotton wool ahead of Sunday’s trip to West Ham.
The majority would have expected to see the 19-year-old at centre-back but he lined up at right-back having impressed there for the U21s recently.
McNair was very strong in his unorthodox role. He got a small taste for it against Leicester on Saturday and was United’s main threat early on.
His pace really bothered the visitors and he wasn’t afraid to come inside and create things himself, and he did just that with a great ball for Juan Mata which led to the first goal.
Fans were quick to recognise McNair’s performance both during and after the game:
Can we start Paddy McNair at right back every week?
— Jonathan Kahn (@jkisthe1) February 3, 2015
Massively impressed with Paddy McNair. Really positive performance.
— Adam Sweeney (@StrettyAdam) February 3, 2015
McNair my MOTM tonight.
— Niall (@Niall_84) February 3, 2015
McNair's found out how to cross. Basically the perfect footballer now.
— Rojo Show (@ConstantRed) February 3, 2015
— Paul Connolly (@PAULCONNOLLY1) February 3, 2015
Whilst McNair has done himself no harm in being a possibility start against West Ham on Sunday, Louis van Gaal will recognise he would be in for a much tougher challenge.
With Rafael seemingly on his way out, Antonio Valencia can be expected to return to the line-up at Upton Park.