David de Gea, Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Matic and Jesse Lingard handed place in BBC ‘Team of the Week’

by Leo Nieboer

David de Gea, Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Matic and Jesse Lingard have all received a place in Garth Crooks’ BBC ‘Team of the Week’ following Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Arsenal last weekend.

The Spaniard grabbed the headlines with a truly extraterrestrial display between the sticks, making 14 saves in total, while Valencia produced another commanding, disciplined captain’s performance.

Matic provided a series of vital blocks and interceptions in the middle, laying the platform for Lingard to wreak havoc at No.10 on the counter-attack, with the Englishman claiming two goals.

And the quartet were duly handed a place in Crooks’ BBC ‘Team of the Week’.

A goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and attacker. This crystallises quite nicely the essence of Jose Mourinho‘s way of picking apart an opponent: every player religiously abiding to their role for the 90 minutes whilst simultaneously inseparable from the whole.

If it wasn’t for De Gea, things would have been ugly. That much has been established. But the same can be said for the other three. Valencia’s verve and energy was contagious; Matic held everything together when the visitors could have easily imploded; and Lingard served as the vital attacking outlet, bringing the ball forward and teaching Arsenal a lesson in attacking ruthlessness.

At their best, a Mourinho team can work in mesmerising tandem, and they will need to reproduce exactly that on Sunday against the country’s most potent attack.

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