Eric Bailly produced an imperious display at the back during Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The Ivorian, who spent the majority of October on the sidelines, returned to action with a physical, organised display against Tottenham Hotspur.
And he continued in the same vein at Stamford Bridge, leading the line throughout with a series of smart interceptions and blocks.
His stats from the game shed light on what was an effervescent defensive display against the champions.
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 5, 2017
Much is made of Bailly’s physical, aggressive approach at the back, but his display at Chelsea reinforced the notion that he deserves to be hailed as much more than just a typical defensive strongman.
Bailly’s positional intelligence, for one thing, ought to be recognised as a key aspect of the way he goes about his business.
He has honed the skill of placing himself between an opponent and the ball, winning a foul in the process, to a mature degree ever since arriving at Old Trafford, and his overall reading of the game – however fast and frantic it may be – very rarely disappoints.
Supporters will just be desperate to see him come through the international break unscathed, especially with Marcos Rojo set to return to the squad against Newcastle.