Manchester United fans were full of praise for Ander Herrera during their side’s 3-2 win over Southampton in the League Cup final.
Herrera, deployed in a midfield two alongside Paul Pogba, endured a furious midfield battle with the likes of Steven Davis and Oriol Romeu all afternoon.
The Spaniard crowned his indefatigable influence in the middle with a sublime cross to set up Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s dramatic late winner.
Supporters were quick to point out the 27-year-old’s monumental impact against Claude Puel’s side.
Ander Herrera has been a key man once again. Sometimes goes unnoticed, but has put in one hell of a shift. Incredible assist. Top player.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) February 26, 2017
Ander Herrera though. Assisted Martial's winner against Everton last season and assisted Zlatan's winner today. Big game player.
— UnitedReview (@TheUtdReview) February 26, 2017
Ander Herrera appreciation tweet ????????????????
— Olurotimi (@0lurotimi) February 26, 2017
— BARTH (@Barth____) February 26, 2017
This was, in many ways, Herrera’s biggest battle yet. He has cemented himself as Mourinho’s chief midfield driving force this season, producing a number of thunderous displays, but could he do it when it truly mattered in a cup final?
And the answer, going on Sunday’s performance, was yes. Emphatically yes. Herrera had to bear the brunt of Southampton’s onslaught, constantly racing around the hallow Wembley turf to keep tabs on the likes of Dusan Tadic and James Ward-Prowse, but came out victorious on the other side.
It was fitting that the killer ball – perhaps the sweetest ball of the game, the one that Herrera supplied to Ibrahimovic for a straight-forward header to win the game – came from the biggest thorn in Southampton’s side.