Manchester United fans were delighted with the impact of ‘super-sub’ Marouane Fellaini after the Belgian opened the scoring for the Reds against FC Basel on Tuesday night.
Fellaini arrived onto the pitch as Man United fans cursed their side’s luck with Paul Pogba hobbling off, having appeared to tweak his hamstring.
Most United fans were simply surprised to see Ashley Young assisting Fellaini, two players who were figures of ridicule and frustration during David Moyes’ tenure. Others pointed out the importance of the pair, particularly goalscorer Fellaini, despite their reputations amongst Reds.
Created by Young, finished by Fellaini.. in the Champions League. WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE.
— Hayley B (@Hayles_101) September 12, 2017
2 of the most hated United players combining for the goal. Brilliant cross from Young and great header from Fellaini
— jb8521 (@jb_8521) September 12, 2017
Fellaini goal, Young assist. LvG would be proud
— Colin (@Rojonaldo) September 12, 2017
Ngl do have a soft spot for Fellaini. You gotta admire someone who keeps pushing no matter how much shit they get, and he is a useful player
— Jack (@UtdTait) September 12, 2017
As long as Fellaini isn’t elbowing opponents and giving away meaningless fouls in dangerous places, got no problem with him.
— TemilOluwa (@Temphiz) September 12, 2017
As ever, the towering 29-year-old was compared to football’s greats. This time similarities were drawn between Fellaini and Marco van Basten. Sarcasm? Probably.
Marouane van Basten.
— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) September 12, 2017
But stats site Squawka demonstrated why José Mourinho is so affectionate of his midfielder, when many others wouldn’t be. And one United fan jokingly suggested a new valuation for Fellaini given the current transfer market.
Man Utd’s last two goals at Old Trafford in European competition:
Mourinho’s favourite. ???? pic.twitter.com/rT04uxVXja
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 12, 2017
Fellaini surely worth about £95m in the current market
— José (@MourinhoMindset) September 12, 2017
Worth £95m? Maybe not. Nevertheless, while Fellaini may force United into playing a worse ‘style’ of football, the Belgian’s effectiveness cannot be doubted.
He has been vital for United in big games; think last season’s UEFA Europa League semi-final goal against Celta Vigo, or when he converted in the League Cup semi-final against Hull City.
The season before that, it was the FA Cup quarter-final against West Ham and then the semi-final against Everton, in which he netted in both games to drag United to the final.
The expected absence of Paul Pogba is incredibly disappointing, and Fellaini cannot replace him. However, it’s another day where he’s proved invaluable. And as odd as it may seem, he’s approaching his 150th game for the club.