Ander Herrera produced a battling display during Manchester United’s 2-0 win over AFC Bournemouth to stake a real claim for a place in the starting XI for the FA Cup semi-final with Tottenham Hotspur this Saturday.
Herrera’s numbers from the game reflect just how crucial he was to a controlled display, and indeed show why he needs to start on Sunday.
Ander Herrera vs. Bournemouth:
Most tackles won (4)
2nd most interceptions (4)
Most ball recoveries (10)
Most passes completed (62)
Has to start against Spurs. pic.twitter.com/ohenX3tfBE
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 18, 2018
It was strange to see United without the ballast that is Nemanja Matic, but Herrera – the club’s player of the season last year – reminded everyone of what he can do with a slightly more scattered yet doubly tenacious showing at the base of midfield.
He was everywhere, cleverly pinching the ball off Bournemouth players before they could break the lines and moving the ball invitingly forward, bringing a sense of urgency which lacked against West Bromwich Albion that gave United the platform from which to create chances.
Mourinho left him out at Wembley in January and United were overrun as a result; he cannot afford to make the same mistake on Saturday.