A late blitz from substitute Marcus Rashford ensured that Manchester United is now at the top of Group H, which was considered as the group of death when the draw was made.
A win over Paris Saint-Germain in France last week was impressive but Manchester United upped their game on Wednesday night when they smashed current Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig 5-0 at Old Trafford.
With six points in their bag, Manchester United could ensure qualification to the Round of 16 in the next two Champions League games when they will face Istanbul Basaksehir in home and away clashes.
From being the underdogs to go through, Manchester United is suddenly sitting pretty with PSG and RB Leipzig looking like scrambling for the second spot in Group H.
#1 Mason Greenwood proved himself on the big stage
Mason Greenwood scored 18 goals in his first season in senior football in the 2019/20 campaign and big things are expected him from this term. But he has attracted headlines this season more for his antics off the pitch than on it.
But the teenage forward proved again on Wednesday night why many feel he is going to be a superstar in the future. The youngster started up front alongside Anthony Martial and his 21st-minute goal showcased his deadeye finishing talents again.
Greenwood met Paul Pogba’s slide-rule pass perfectly with a perfectly-timed run and a one-touch finish past Peter Gulacsi in the Leipzig goal gave Manchester United the early lead.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been keen to protect Greenwood from the limelight and will hope the youngster gets on the back pages more for what he did against RB Leipzig than due to his antics when he was part of the England squad.
#2 Dayot Upamecano had a chastening night at Old Trafford
The 22-year-old Frenchman is considered as one of the best young centre-backs in world football at the moment. His performance against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals last season earned him plaudits and he has been brilliant for RB Leipzig at the start of the season.
There is also talk of Manchester United planning to sign him next summer but his audition at Old Trafford didn’t go according to plan.
RB Leipzig played a back three with Dayot Upamecano playing at the centre, and the Manchester United forward line employed the press to stop the Frenchman from playing comfortably out of the back.
He was constantly harried and the Red Devils forward line forced him into making mistakes and playing stray passes.
The defender still looked solid until Marcus Rashford came on the park. The England forward made a mockery of Upamecano’s talent and his second goal had the Frenchman bamboozled and scrambling on the floor.
He is too talented to get judged for one bad performance but his first outing at Old Trafford did put a dent on the Frenchman’s growing reputation.
#3 A midfield diamond could be the solution for Manchester United
The fact that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could afford to name Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes on the bench against a team of Leipzig’s quality shows the depth of the squad he has at his disposal, especially in midfield.
With Bruno Fernandes rested, Donny van de Beek finally got an opportunity to start a big game and he was at the tip of a midfield diamond.
Solskjaer finally veered away from his 4-2-3-1 formation and started Nemanja Matic just ahead of the back four with Fred and Paul Pogba ahead of him and Van de Beek just behind the forward line.
Manchester United have the depth in their squad to play the midfield diamond and it worked like a charm against Leipzig. Fred covered every blade of grass in a tireless performance and Pogba looked at his best with the insurance of the Brazilian and Matic alongside him.
And Van de Beek showed glimpses of his talent and his ability to find pockets of space between the defence and the midfield. Solskjaer has insisted that the Dutchman will get more opportunities and his performance against Leipzig showed the options the Manchester United manager has in his squad.
Also Read: Donny van de Beek: Where does the Dutchman feature in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans?