ETH has reignited MUFC’s “weak” £90k-p/w dud, he’s becoming “ridiculously good” again

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The English full back, who had drawn criticism for his attacking performances, has now found his footing.

Manchester United narrowly defeated a motivated Brighton and Hove Albion in a penalty shootout to secure their spot in yesterday’s FA Cup final.

It came down to penalty kicks to decide between the two teams in a contest with limited open scoring opportunities and a defenders’ dominance throughout. After a run of outstanding penalties from both sides, Solly March was the unlucky victim of such a brutal tactic.

With only 39% of the ball, the Red Devils frequently found themselves on the back foot and achieved much of their victories on the counter. Their back four were put under a lot of stress, but they rose to the occasion.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka stood out in particular, despite having a turbulent career in Manchester since his £50 million move.

The £90k a week full-back has drawn criticism for his lack of offensive production, but unmatched solidity is a quality that cannot be disregarded. This was demonstrated yesterday on the grandest platform, where the former Crystal Palace defender silenced any opponent who dared to challenge him.

Against Brighton, how did Aaron Wan-Bissaka perform?

There was a lot of pressure on Wan-Bissaka to maintain a standard for the Portugal international to surpass when he took the pitch ahead of Diogo Dalot, who has also improved his play recently and scored in their most recent Premier League victory. He has raised the bar to even greater heights, though.

Only two of his starting teammates had average ratings higher than his 7.4, and the fact that the full-back was only substituted after 101 minutes played was a testament to Ten Hag’s confidence in him.

He would only make two tackles, one interception, and one clearing during that time on the revered Wembley field, but it was his ground battles that really stood out. He participated in six of them and maintained a success percentage of 100%, which prompted James Maddison to commend his fellow countryman.

“AWB is ridiculously good at 1 v 1 defending,” he remarked on Twitter. the undisputed best in the entire world. When playing directly against him, so many wingers run out of ideas. This assertion has much more weight given the raving endorsement of such a skilled attacker.

Additionally, Wan-Bissaka made 53 touches while losing the ball just six times, giving him a 100% success rate on all four of his attempted dribbles. Overall, it was a performance that was simply mesmerising.

Given that the 6-foot ace played a significant role on United’s “weak” right-hand side, which Samuel Luckhurst had previously criticised, this rise to taking centre stage in such important matches is a spectacular reversal for which Ten Hag deserves equal acclaim.

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