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The rise of Ashley Young at Manchester United

The Englishman completely nullified the seemingly irrepressible Mohamed Salah on Saturday.

Feature 12 Mar 2018, 15:10 IST

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League
Young has become the first-choice left back for Manchester United in recent times.

Prior to the start of the 2017-18 campaign, Ashley Young was seemingly on the verge of leaving Manchester United in the summer. Today, he has become one of the most important players on the roster under Jose Mourinho.

The winger turned full-back has seen a big change in his fortunes this season.

At the start of the campaign, Young was sidelined due to a hamstring injury suffered in the previous campaign and made his first appearance against FC Basel in the Champions League in September.

But it was in November he came under the spotlight after he scored two goals against Watford, including a beautifully curled free-kick from 30 yards. This was when things started falling positively in place for the 32 year old, and with Luke Shaw out injured, it proved to be the best time for him to showcase his talents and prove his worth to the manager.

Since then, Young has featured in nearly every game for United. The Englishman in 22 league appearances has scored twice and assisted 3 times, claiming the man of the match award in 4 games.

Kept the prolific Mohamed Salah quiet all game

On Saturday, he was handed his biggest task yet this season, man-marking the top scorer of the league, Mohamed Salah.

Not many teams have been able to cope up with Mo Salah, who has found the net 24 times in the league so far this season, but on Saturday he seemed powerless.

For the majority of the game, the Egyptian played no major part in Liverpool's attacks, the reason being United's intelligent left-back.

Salah could manage only a single shot on goal the entire game, that too being off target. His presence was completely turned ineffective by the brilliance of Ashley Young, who clinched an amazing stat of 100% tackles won during the match.

He completed a total of 20 passes, made 4 interceptions and 5 clearances. The former Aston Villa man's discipline at the back alongside his team-mates meant that Liverpool could not manage even a lone shot on target in the second half.

This was one of Young's best performances this season, he had been a constant target of critics recently for getting a place in the starting eleven ahead of Luke Shaw. Despite all that, Jose Mourinho has kept faith in the English International by giving him regular playing time and was full of praise for him post-match.

Not only did Young prove his worth to the club against Liverpool, he has also established himself as a firm contender for a place in the English national team squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia.

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