Manchester United’s 2:1 victory over Liverpool on Monday surprised many fans and pundits, and one of the reasons for the success of the “red devils” was the wonderful performance of one of the new additions – Tyrell Malacia.
The Dutch left-back, who was paid €15 million to Feyenoord in the summer, had the tough task of being lined up against Mohamed Salah, but he handled it admirably. Except for one situation at the very beginning of the match, where the Egyptian passed him, passing the ball over his head.
However, in the following minutes, Malasia totally disfigured the star of the “reds”, for which he received well-deserved praise.
“Malasia was monstrous, outstanding,” commented Rio Ferdinand on his “Vibe with Five” YouTube podcast. “He reminds me of Patrice Evra in a lot of ways. He’s athletic and looks pretty powerful for his height.
In the last four or five years, there are not many left backs in Europe, or even in the world, who have managed to keep up with Salah. Luke Shaw will have to work hard to regain his starting place.”
Shaw watched the derby from the bench. At the very end of the match, Erik ten Haag took out his other full-back Diogo Dalot, replacing him with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who was also increasingly losing his starting place, but Malasia played the full 90 minutes.
Luke Shaw will really have to work hard to be considered the No. 1 option on the left side of defense again.
Another newcomer, Lisandro Martinez, also had a great fight. The Argentinian came in for a lot of criticism after the defeats to Brighton and Brentford, but was almost faultless against Liverpool. He was in the right place even with a clumsy effort to clear Bruno Fernandes, who almost put the ball into his own net, but Lisandro stopped it on the goal line.
🔴 Licha 🔴
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 24, 2022
Martinez came with high expectations as he was paid almost €60m. The Argentine will need time to adapt to football in England and it remains to be seen whether his slightly smaller stature will become a serious problem for him in the highly physical Premier League.
The contribution of Erik ten Haag should also be taken into account for the good work in defense. The Dutchman made two defensive changes, with Malacia starting in Shaw’s place on the left and Rafael Varane chosen to partner Martinez in the middle, rather than Harry Maguire, who played against Brighton and Brentford but was left on the bench against Liverpool.
Malacia and Varane are expected to keep their places for the upcoming visit of Southampton at the weekend, while Maguire and Shaw are already in a catch-up role.