Manchester United made it two wins out of two in the Champions League, with a come-from-behind win against CFR Cluj on Tuesday night.
Robin van Persie stole the headlines with his wonderful brace and ensured that Sir Alex and his men avoided the humiliation of losing two games in a gap of four days.
Without further ado, let us have a look at things that we learned from the game.
1. United Should Play With a Three Man Midfield
Against Tottenham Hotspurs, one of the main reasons why United couldn’t complete their comeback were that the Red Devils' midfield was clearly overran by that of Spurs'.
However, against Cluj, the midfield of the 19-times European champions, consisting of the Cleverley, Anderson and Fletcher, looked much more stable and organized.
With Fltecher deployed in a relatively deeper role, Cleverley and Anderson were given optimum freedom to venture upfront, ensuring that the much-required link between the back-four and the three attacker upfront was formed.
Added to that, United also controlled the majority of the possession, ensuring lesser chances for the opponents to exploit the feeble defense of the Red Devils.
2. Robin van Persie Key to United’s Success
Last night the pivotal difference between the two sides was former Arsenal captain Robin van Persie.
The Dutchman was at his monumental best, scoring twice, creating numerous other chances for his teammates and also tracking back to help out the defense and the midfield.
Thus, it is clearly right to say that the 29-year-old’s form will be integral to United’s success this season.
His attacking impetus and prowess add a new dimension to United’s game and his possible partnership with Wayne Rooney could thrash any defense in the Premier League.
He has already scored seven goals in total for the club thus far and as the season progresses on one can only expect this tally to rise substantially.
3. Defensive Woes Still a Cause of Concern
Against Tottenham Hotspurs, United’s defense was in shambles and thoroughly abused by the likes of Bale, Lennon, Dembele and Vertonghen.
Against Cluj, even though due to the impressive possession play and the collective effort of the midfielders and attackers to help out the back-four, the latter was still a struggling element for the team.
Patrice Evra was often caught out of possession and the central defense partnership of Ferdinand and Evans looked far from reliable.
The Red Devils have been easily leaked in goals this campaign and it is amusing that Alex Ferguson has not taken any strong steps transform his defense into a more cohesive unit.
It is high time that youths are given opportunities to prove themselves and players like Alexander Buttner are given the nods ahead of ageing and struggling stars like Patrice Evra.