Erik ten Hag made a crucial change yesterday to ensure that Manchester United overcame Fulham in the FA Cup yesterday, substituting Scott McTominay for Antony.
Antony’s introduction to the match thirty minutes from time changed the game completely, with United 1-0 down at the time.
The Brazilian’s ability to hold width pinned Fulham’s left flank and offered a reliable outlet for the Red Devils in possession.
That was something that had been sorely lacking in the opening hour, with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bruno Fernandes at various point having deputised (fairly ineffectively) on the right. throughout the match.
He completed three dribbles to work his team up the pitch and was a constant threat cutting in.
The winger also made two key passes, including the clever threaded ball into Jadon Sancho’s path, which led to United’s first goal via a penalty after Willian’s goal-line handball.
Despite his refreshingly direct approach, Antony was still reliable in possession, finishing the game with a 94% passing accuracy.
He was no slouch going the other way either, winning five duels.
Antony’s game by numbers vs. Fulham:
94% pass accuracy
5 ground duels won
3 dribbles completed
2 key passes
1 big chance created
1 shot on target
Great wing play. 💫 pic.twitter.com/ZuwrYdMjl1
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 19, 2023
While many pundits will focus on the three minutes of madness that saw three Fulham members sent off, Antony was the catalyst for the match turning on its head.
It was an inspired substitution from Erik ten Hag, and not for the first time this season.
As for Antony, the trickster has often come in for criticism this season, with his hefty price tag making him something of a target.
But it is clear that this Manchester United team plays better when he is on the pitch.
Follow The Peoples Person on Twitter or Instagram for all the latest news as it happens and to join in the conversation.