Eric Bailly produced another commanding display from the back and claimed his first ever career goal during Manchester United’s 4-0 win over Swansea City on Saturday.
The Ivorian, pitted against Jordan Ayew and the impressive Tammy Abraham, was an intractable force alongside Phil Jones, comfortably dealing with any aerial assault that came his way and skilfully manipulating the ball in tight spaces.
And he was on hand at the other end just when United needed a goal most, poking home from close range after Lukasz Fabianski tipped Paul Pogba’s header on to the bar.
His stats from the game shed light on what was a truly dominant performance at the Liberty Stadium.
Bailly's game by numbers vs. Swansea:
94% pass accuracy
100% tackles won
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 19, 2017
Nemanja Matic’s presence meant that Swansea couldn’t pass their way through United – not even once. So they had to load the box from out wide in the hope that somebody would be on the end of it.
And somebody always was. Unfortunately for Swansea, however, that ‘somebody’ was the big Ivorian. Abraham and Ayew have the makings of a potentially dangerous partnership but at this stage of the season they still lack that telepathic understanding needed for any strike force.
In the end, Bailly’s job was easy as he gleefully stormed towards any long ball that came his way, taking full control of proceedings throughout.