Manchester United star Nemanja Matic has perhaps not received as much praise as he should have for his role in the superb victory over Southampton.
The experienced Serbian was thrown back into the starting XI tasked with protecting his defence in a 4-4-2 diamond formation.
United found themselves 2-0 down at the break after some questionable defensive errors but roared back in the second half to complete a remarkable 3-2 comeback victory inspired by Edinson Cavani.
The talented Uruguayan deservedly made all the headlines but Matic played a crucial role in ensuring the three points too.
Nemanja Matic vs. Southampton:
◉ Most ball recoveries (15)
◉ Most interceptions (5)
= Most tackles (4)
Quietly went about his business. pic.twitter.com/I8VmOFUSnb
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 29, 2020
It’s remarkably encouraging to see him top the charts in these defensive aspects of the game, particularly as he was the sole defensive-midfielder in the side and it was essentially his main task.
However, what’s arguably the most stunning of the stats is the sheer amount of recoveries he’s made as 15 is a ridiculously high number.
There will be question marks over Matic and the squad’s first-half performance but there’s no doubt he, as well as his teammates, came out firing in the second-half.
United have had some world class goalkeepers over the years and some entertaining ones too. Take our quiz below to find out how much you know about United’s number 1’s, past and present.