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3 ways Manchester United can keep winning

ANALYST
Feature
499   //    07 Oct 2018, 19:55 IST

Manchester United played out a brilliant game against Newcastle United on Saturday, staging a revival and possibly saving Jose Mourinho's job. They came back from being 0-2 down and ended the game 3-2 thanks to goals from Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez.

They conceded two goals within the first 10 minutes of the game and it was clear that they would be following from behind throughout the ninety minutes. But then Anthony Martial started a magic show on the left wing, Juan Mata started giving ridiculous passes and Paul Pogba started showing off and Manchester United were home and dry.

The introduction of Alexis Sanchez was like adding a nitro-booster into an 80s Ford Sierra and the Chilean immediately showed why he was rated so highly at the Emirates Stadium in London. He was extraordinary down the middle, brought Romelu Lukaku into the game and just like that, headed the winner in the 90th minute. What a way to reinvigorate his failing Manchester United career.

In Manchester United's perspective, the first half was average, to say the least. They gave the ball away freely and allowed a lot of control and time to Newcastle's forward line. Eric Bailly was perhaps not having the best of games and Mourinho showed how ruthless he can get by subbing him off in the nineteenth minute. What was inexplicable was playing Scott McTominay over either Marouane Fellaini and Fred as the second holding midfielder with Nemanja Matic.

Manchester United showed us, that if given freedom to express themselves, they can well and truly play exciting football. Listed are three ways in which they can maintain and continue their winning run:

#1 Playing Anthony Martial regularly

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League
Anthony Martial should be given more opportunities

Jose Mourinho does not trust Anthony Martial a lot and has criticised him in public, but it was the Frenchman who started United's revival against Newcastle, first by adding pace to the wings and then winning the free kick which led to Juan Mata opening the scoring. He then went on to show his prowess in front of goal by netting the equaliser. Martial is quicker than you think and can add a lot of flair and exuberance on the left-hand side of the wing.

On a day when Romelu Lukaku was off-colour, Martial was not shy of taking the Newcastle defenders on either. He can score from wide ranges too. Put simply, Martial needs to be played a lot more than he is currently.

#2 Giving Alexis Sanchez a chance as a striker

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League
Sanchez should be given a chance at his favoured second-striker position

Alexis Sanchez reached the zenith of his career at Arsenal by playing in the second-striker position. We all know that Mourinho favours playing one striker only but he needs to understand that Sanchez is not at his best on the wings. The Chilean should be played in the middle of the forward line. This will also reduce over-dependence on Romelu Lukaku and give Mourinho options if he doesn't want to play Marcus Rashford.

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There is a lot of football left in Sanchez and it is up to Mourinho to bring it out of him. Sanchez's place in the side can be compensated by playing only one holding midfielder, possibly Marouane Fellaini.

#3 Signing a proper full-back in the January transfer window

Manchester United v Derby County - Carabao Cup Third Round
Ashley Young has lost his legs

Antonio Valencia and Diogo Dalot can do the job for now but Manchester United need to sign a young right-back who is in his prime. Valencia has lost his legs and Dalot still needs to develop a lot. Playing Ashley Young at right-back is not the option as the England international does not have the same pace that once frightened opposition defenders and cannot defend with authority.

However, Young is good with crosses, like he showed on Saturday with the assist to Alexis Sanchez's winner. He has grown old and can no longer match the pace of the game if it gets fast. He is a good leader though but not someone who will be missed a lot.

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ANALYST
A cricketer by profession and writer by passion, Mohul writes about cricket, football and tennis.
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