Let’s do one another a favour and dispense with the tiresome puns and innuendo about United’s most recent Champions League opponent’s name and daft quips about ‘teaching them a lesson, or giving them a spanking or whatever and move on.
What did we learn from United’s 3-0 win over the Swiss side that we didn’t know already? Well according to Graeme Souness we learned very little, but then again according to Graeme Souness Paul Pogba is arguably the worst footballer on the planet.
Here’s five things United’s epic victory thanks to a Paul Pogba brace and Anthony Martial goal, showed us:
1. Diogo Dalot could be the right back we’ve been waiting for.
We’ve been here before with right backs and false dawns, Matteo Darmian looked great when he first arrived, while many of us still pine for Timothy Fosu-Mensah, but there’s no denying Dalot had a memorable debut – for all the right reasons. Dalot was up and down the right hand side of the pitch with not just energy and vigour but purpose too. The youngster didn’t shun his defensive duties and more pertinently whipped in several decent crosses and looks ready for more regular first team action.
United are 26.00 to win the Champions League this season.
2. Paul Pogba is still the penalty taker – and main man.
Any doubts whether Pogba will have had his confidence knocked following his penalty miss against Burnley, were quickly eradicated as the Frenchman stepped up, well slowly walked up and buried his spot kick after a disputable handball. Pogba’s first goal was a thing of beauty and while his penalty will hardly be one for the ages, with the captain’s armband on, penalty taking duties and a real swagger about his play, whatever is going on between him and Jose Mourinho isn’t affecting his responsibilities or performances.
3. Luke Shaw looks back to his best.
The Champions League hasn’t been kind to the former Southampton defender but last night saw the left back produce yet another high-octane, confident and effective performance. Shaw not only kept Young Boys relatively quiet down United’s left hand side, but caused them no end of problems going forward. Let’s hope Shaw can continue his good early season form fitness and focus, which could prove invaluable if United are to challenge for the trophies this campaign.
4. Anthony Martial still has a United future.
Despite a protracted fall out with the manager, rumours of a desire to move elsewhere and questions over his attitude, Martial reminded everyone why so many United fans are so enamoured of him. It was far from a faultless performance, but Martial did cause the Young Boys’ defence several problems, looked lively and got his goal – not bad for a player many expected to be plying his trade elsewhere this season.
5. Chris Smalling could be vital.
You may not have heard about it but apparently Mourinho wanted to sign a central defender this summer. It may have been a disappointment that threatened to derail the manager’s entire United career, especially following two losses where the centre backs were at fault, but Smalling could be everyone’s saviour. The former Fulham man has always been capable of producing colossal performances but has struggled with consistency and always seems capable of a horrific mistake. Thankfully of late, he’s been the Smalling we hoped he would be and who knows if he continues in the form he showed again last night, then maybe missing out on a Harry Maguire or Toby Alderweireld won’t be such a travesty after all.