Ander Herrera produced another powerful, tenacious performance in midfield during Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup fifth round.
The Spaniard, deployed alongside Michael Carrick, stamped his authority on what was a furious midfield battle at Ewood Park and started to dominate proceedings as the game went on.
His numbers from the game shed light on his constant influence against Owen Coyle’s side.
Herrera's game by numbers vs. Blackburn:
2 key passes
95% pass accuracy
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 19, 2017
This was, in many ways, what one would call a ‘traditional’ cup tie: rain pouring down, the ground torn up by a mixture of moisture and vicious tackles, an end-to-end feel to the game, despite being unavoidably scrappy.
And make no mistake, Herrera absolutely relishes such a platform. The Spaniard relentlessly charged across the pitch all afternoon, harassing the likes of Charlie Mulgrew and Danny Guthrie as Mourinho’s men looked to take control in the middle after falling behind unexpectedly.
Blackburn boldly elected to opt for two strikers and two wingers against Man United, leaving their midfield seemingly exposed, and Herrera – despite initially struggling with the home side’s direct approach – quickly managed to take advantage of their refusal to pack the midfield as the minutes ticked by. The end result, much like the contest with Saint Etienne, was a stroll to the finish line for the Spaniard.