Marcos Rojo treated Manchester United fans to a stellar display at the back during their side’s 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League.
The Argentine was criticised in midweek following another clumsy two-footed challenge that ought to have yielded a red-card, with many supporters and pundits calling for him to change his defensive approach.
And Rojo duly responded with a notably collected, reliable performance at the Hawthorns, hardly putting a foot wrong when dealing with Salomon Rondon.
A glance at his numbers from the clash with Tony Pulis’ men sheds light on the nature of his display.
Marcos Rojo's game by numbers vs. West Brom:
100% aerial duels won
87% pass accuracy
1 tackle won
Rejuvenated under Jose. pic.twitter.com/NbMAbYhYRp
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 17, 2016
Some players just look as if they’re on the verge of stupidly picking up a red card, and Rojo against Crystal Palace serves as a potent example: everything he did felt erratic, shabbily timed, almost as if he’d left the oven on at home and just wanted to get this game out of the way.
His performance against West Brom, however, signalled a monumental change of tack. The Argentine never dived in, timed his headers to perfection, and never lost his cool alongside Phil Jones – even when Salomon Rondon, clearly frustrated at his failure to get past the defender even once, physically confronted him during the latter stages.