Following back-to-back triumphs, the mood at Old Trafford seems a little brighter following a turbulent few weeks for Manchester United both on and off the pitch.
Erik ten Hag, United’s manager, has struggled to make the most of his surviving players in the team’s first few 2023/24 games because of many injuries and absences from the lineup. However, a few first-team all-stars are starting to recover from their injuries.
Fans were able to see Sofyan Amrabat in action against Crystal Palace on Tuesday night as he had finally attained the necessary level of fitness, and it’s safe to say they were impressed. Here are the statistics that demonstrate how wonderfully Amrabat did at Old Trafford under the lights in the 3-0 Carabao Cup victory against Palace.
Where did Sofyan Amrabat play against Crystal Palace?
Amrabat’s start against Palace lit up enthusiasm among United supporters, but he also caused some disappointment because Ten Hag played him in the left-back position due to injured players Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia and Sergio Reguilon’s absence.
Amrabat quickly found himself switching between left-back, central midfield, and centre-back as a result of Man Utd’s domination. Harry Maguire played to the left much of the time as Casemiro and Amrabat filled in any openings that could have existed. Mason Mount was replaced by Victor Lindelof in the second half, and the Swedish player moved to left back, allowing Amrabat and Casemiro to create a midfield power duo.
Amrabat’s statistics vs Crystal Palace
A few players had claims to becoming player of the game on a successful night for Man Utd, but most supporters would have probably selected Amrabat if given the choice. The Moroccan was an extremely difficult opponent for Palace’s attackers to work around. Amrabat triumphed in all six of his duels and 100% of the tackles he attempted on Tuesday. His tackling wasn’t the only thing that stood out. Five of Amrabat’s six long-range deliveries found their intended recipients, and he had a 96% pass accuracy from 81 attempts.
After the game, Amrabat talked about his adaptability and readiness to play anywhere as requested in an interview with Sky Sports. “I told the manager, ‘I play where you need me, where the team needs me.’ Even if it’s like a goalkeeper, I play where I can help the team. Today it was left-back but I had a bit of a free role, I think I also played a lot in the midfield so yeah it was nice, it was good,” Amrabat stated. “I think you see I like to touch the ball and to have the ball always. Of course, I’m not a left-back who plays from the line and waits there, so yeah I try to give the team an extra option and I think today it was OK.”
After the game, United manager Ten Hag expressed his satisfaction with the Moroccan, praising him: “Sofyan is a player – and that is one of the reasons we signed him – who will play where the team needs him and who can play in different situations. Each player has their greatest position, yet they all contribute to the game’s dynamics. We’ve seen him today, but we’ve only just begun for him and many other players.”
“The numerous injuries we have slowed down this process a little bit because when you play with the same team for a long period, routines develop, players get to know one another, and things become more automatic. You can see Amrabat and Mason [Mount] as well as other players who can and will improve our game.”