Manchester United edged out Luton Town in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
While the home side dictated the flow of play for the majority of the match, they struggled to make their 64% possession count in what was a poor attacking display.
Ultimately, it took an opportune shot by centre-back Victor Lindelof from a corner to secure the three points that Man United desperately sought.
Even though Man United clearly need to improve at shooting and creating space in front of goal, the team’s defence looked surprisingly at ease against Luton, with Harry Maguire proving to not just be a solid defender but an effective passer of the ball as well.
Although the England international never made any tackles against Luton, he stood solid at the back throughout the 90 minutes, never allowing a single Luton player to dribble past him.
He made three clearances, while also leading both United and Luton with three blocked shots.
While Maguire produced a decent defensive display that was topped off with a clean sheet, it was the former United captain’s passing that truly turned heads.
Maguire completed 78 of his 86 attempted passes, resulting in an impressive 91% passing accuracy.
In addition to making a key pass, the centre-back got 97 touches on the ball, proving to be a highly involved player throughout the contest.
Maguire was not just an effective passer in the middle of the park, but on the attack as well.
Early in the first half, he thumped a long ball to Marcus Rashford on the right wing, whose subsequent cross to Rasmus Hojlund almost resulted in a goal had it not been for an impressive save from the Luton goalkeeper.
In total, Maguire completed nine out of 13 long balls; the most of any United player on the day.
While the once-struggling United defender has shown constant improvement in his defensive performances, Maguire has exhibited a strong passing game as well, suggesting that he may just be a more versatile player than many expect.
Clearly, Maguire has every intention of resecuring his spot in the starting 11 as United continue to rebuild following a challenging start to the season.
(Stats via Sofascore)