3 key reasons behind Manchester United’s recent resurgence
The last week witnessed perhaps the best 4 days in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's tenure as a Manchester United manager. The Red Devils stepped into the game against Tottenham Hotspur in midweek with all odds against them. However, up against Jose Mourinho in the opposition dugout, Solskjaer gave the Portuguese a lesson in the United way, drawing a leaf out of his playing days under Sir Alex Ferguson. Manchester United dominated Spurs to win the game 2-1, quashing all signa of a club in turmoil. 4 days later, Pep Guardiola was in the eye of the United storm, his City side effectively blown away by their arch-nemesis.
Like a phoenix, Manchester United have managed to rise from the ashes and have their eyes firmly set on the top four at the moment. But what are the three key reasons for Manchester United's recent resurgence? Read on to find out.
#3. Harry Maguire finally producing the goods consistently
Manchester United had identified the defense as the main area of concern in the summer and had broken the bank to secure Harry Maguire from Leicester City. The Englishman already looked an upgrade from the central defenders previously at Old Trafford, however, he struggled for consistency at the start of the season. United subsequently stumbled in games, with wins turning to draws due to the failure to see out games. Maguire did put in stellar shifts in quite a few games, but failed to become the galvanizing force that the backline was crying out for. All that changed when Tottenham came for a visit to Old Trafford.
Tasked with stopping a stellar Spurs attack who arrived at Old Trafford on a three-game winning streak, Maguire was massive in the heart of the backline. He emerged as one of the best players on the pitch, managing 45 accurate passes in the game, only bettered by Fred in the United team. The Englishman was powerful on the air and reduced Harry Kane to a mere spectator for the majority of the game. He had a 100% tackle success rate and did not allow anyone to dribble past him. Maguire's stellar performance ensured that United secured a deserved 2-1 win at home. The man himself, however, was only warming up.
The Englishman wore the armband for the visit to the Etihad to face Manchester City on Saturday and went on to finally justify his price tag. Maguire rose to the occasion, managing a 92% passing accuracy and expertly dealt with everything City threw at him. His composure and towering presence at the back provided United with the perfect base to build their counter-attacking foundation on. The Englishman was pivotal as United defended their lead in the second half and added a level of maturity to their game.
It is not a coincidence that United's recent turnaround in results have occurred just when Maguire seems to be hitting top form. The Englishman has been central to United's good fortunes of late and his partnership with Victor Lindelof has also given the United fans a lot of hope.