5 Things We Learned From Manchester United’s Win Over Celta Vigo

5 Things We Learned From Manchester United’s Win Over Celta Vigo
May 13, 2017

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Manchester United edged past Celta Vigo on Thursday night after a nervy few minutes which saw Eric Bailly be dismissed, resulting in the Ivorian missing the Europa League final. José Mourinho has publicly revealed his sole focus is on the Europa League, which offers a trophy and Champions League qualification slot.

However, United sit in 6th in the Premier League table, which would be debated his not good enough from Mourinho’s side. Here are 5 things we learned as United progressed through to the Europa League final.

1. Manchester United Need A Proven Striker Next Season To Challenge For The Title

Zlatan Ibrahimovic had scored 28 goals before getting his cruciate injury had been the main source of goals. However, he did hinder the pace of the game and having the likes of Martial and Rashford instead has meant that United play at a quicker pace. But then again, neither of them is ready yet to take up the mantle of being the sole striker to lead a title challenge next season. Names like Romelu Lukaku and Andrea Belotti have been touted as potential targets in the summer and United will certainly need to recruit a No.9 to aid a title challenge. United have missed so many guilt edge chances in the first leg of the semifinal and it nearly cost Mourinho as it has done so many times this season in the league campaign.

2. Eric Bailly Will Be A Huge Miss In The Europa League Final

While Marcus Rojo has been a great revelation as a centre back under Mourinho this season before being thwarted by a long-term injury, one can definitely say that Eric Bailly has been United’s best defender by far. Chris Smalling has regressed this season and along with Phil Jones who has once again had an injury ridden season, there are big question marks over their futures at the club. Daley Blind has been a steady performer and an excellent reader of the game but Eric Bailly’s moment of madness which lead to a red card could prove to be costly for United. Jose Mourinho needs to decide whether he goes with the youth of Axel Tuanzebe (highly unlikely considering Jose’s track record) or with one of Jones or Smalling.

3. Sergio Romero Can Certainly Be Relied Upon In The Final

Jose Mourinho confirmed in his post-match press conference that Sergio Romero will continue in goal for the final, as well, ahead of first-choice goalkeeper David De Gea. Sergio Romero hasn’t put a foot wrong whenever he has played this season and has been pretty much faultless. He has 11 clean sheets in 16 games and has pulled off some stunning saves at crucial moments, like the one against Rostov at home in the final seconds when Rostov were desperately pushing for an equaliser. There has been quite some talk about De Gea going back to Madrid in the summer and Romero has done no harm to his chances of getting a shot at being United’s No.1.

4. Anthony Martial And Juan Mata Can Certainly Stake A Claim To Start In The Final After Jesse Lingard Fails To Impress

Jose Mourinho has tended to favour Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the Europa league and rightly so, since he has been United’s top scorer in the competition with five goals. However, Jesse Lingard has flattered to deceive over the two legs in the semi-final and missed many good opportunities to score. He didn’t have a decisive impact from an attacking standpoint and it is likely that there is a place up for grabs for the likes of Martial and Mata if they can perform well in the next few Premier League games. Anthony Martial has found some form in the last few weeks and Juan Mata, who is coming back from a groin injury, will both look to impress Jose Mourinho ahead of the final on 24th May.

5. Maraoune Fellaini Has Been A Trusted Lieutenant Of Jose Mourinho And He Has A Role To Play Under Him In The Future

Despite being one of those who constantly keeps getting flak from fans and pundits alike, over his period of stay at Manchester United, Fellaini has been a constant under the regimes of three different managers. Mourinho has played him in many big games this season and has not let him down, by and large. He has now scored in the semifinal of the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa league for United and will continue to have a role to play under Mourinho even if new signings are made.

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