Tyrell Malacia put in a performance of the highest quality as Manchester United came from behind to beat West Ham this evening.
The Dutchman barely put a foot wrong as he marshalled the left-hand side of the Red Devils’ defence and provided fight and energy all over the pitch.
He put in an incredible seven tackles – more than any other player on the pitch – while winning eight of his nine duels.
It is plain to see how he earned the moniker ‘Pitbull’ during his time at Feyenoord with such numbers.
But there was guile to go with his grit, as he managed to intercept the ball cleanly five times – again more than any other player – and made four clearances to deny West Ham.
Altogether that makes for a frankly ridiculous number of ball recoveries as he was pivotal in helping United to hold out until the cavalry arrived.
Not once did a Hammer dribble past him, such was his attention to the detail of defending.
Tyrell Malacia’s game by numbers vs. West Ham:
80% pass accuracy
8/9 ground duels won
7 tackles won
1/1 dribble completed
0 times dribbled
Magnificent performance. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/kGowJCDggL
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 1, 2023
It was notable that West Ham had no joy whatsoever attacking down United’s left-hand side, with the vast majority of their chances either going through Said Benrahma down the Red Devils’ right flank, or direct through the middle.
On a night where the experienced pairing of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelöf looked shaky throughout, it was the 23-year-old Tyrell Malacia who played the part of veteran.
The defender has certainly laid down a marker here and looks to be breathing down Luke Shaw’s neck for a starting berth.
Erik ten Hag made six changes to his team tonight, giving opportunities to players who had been somewhat on the periphery lately.
Tyrell Malacia was one of the few who took his chance.