Manchester United struggled against well motivated West Bromwich Albion side on Monday night after falling behind the host in a 2-1 encounter before the introduction of Marouane Fellaini who scored a breath-taking individual goal just few minutes after being introduced into the game.
United have been struggling to replicate the form that once saw them as one of the giants of England, despite the summer signings, situation has remain a bit unchanged at the Old Trafford.
Belgian international, Fellaini came on as a substitute for recovering Ander Herrera at half time, only to control the ball with his commanding height and slotted it past Boaz Myhill, just few minutes after coming on as a substitute.
The hulky Belgian might be Manchester United’s answer to set-pieces punishment, considering his physique, and with a more physical clash against Chelsea on Sunday; Louis van Gaal seems to have found the needle in his haystack.
Van Gaal could not hide his admiration for the Belgian. The Dutchman went ahead to praise his magical substitute: “Of course he made a very good substitution. But he’s always injured and we have to build him up,” he said.
“We could not use him in the past two weeks because he was away with Belgium so that was a pity, but now he has his first 45 minutes, so that is good, that’s a plus.”
Fellaini who inspired an indecisive Louis van Gaal side was predicted by Gary Neville to be United’s key to beating Chelsea while speaking after the match.
Neville asserts that his former club must find subsequent consistency if they are to match a Chelsea side that could target them from set-pieces at the Old Trafford. He further stressed Jose Mourinho’s men could cheat United’s players physically. He said: “People say it’s not the Manchester United way, but I don’t get that. For 25 years Manchester United as an option, not as a rule, would lump it forward. There is no doubt.
“It’s not the way you start the game and it’s not the way you try to win the game, absolutely not, but during periods of the season you’re going to need that alternative. You’re going to need that second option, that plan B or plan C. Don’t be embarrassed, use it.
“I would say that on Sunday if Manchester United play with their starting team they will have big problems from set pieces. You’ve got Costa, Ivanovic, Matic, Cahill and John Terry – they are all six-foot-three and not just that, but they can head a ball and want to head a ball. They [United] are going to have problems.
“On Sunday, they [Rafael and Blind] are going to have to make sure they match the power of Chelsea on set pieces and their strength.
“Fellaini could come in handy. Carrick is six-foot-one and there might be an option there. You’ve got to think about those things going into the game and I’m sure Louis van Gaal will.”
Ahead of stern back-to-back fixtures, United will play Chelsea, Manchester City, Hull City and Arsenal in the next one month if there is a commander on van Gaal’s side who may survive the aerial attacks Mourinho’s men boast and likely define the Dutchman’s era at United, it is none other than the hulky Marouane Fellaini.