Manchester United fans were delighted with the impact of Eric Bailly during Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League triumph over Liverpool. The 23-year-old made his first league start for United in over four months, but he showed no rustiness with a dominant performance in central defence.
The Red Devils have found themselves in tricky situations at the back against counter-attacking teams, but Bailly’s return to the line-up ensured the team restricted the Reds from scoring, barring the unfortunate own-goal which came off the Ivorian.
Bailly can drop a cheeky own goal and no one can chat shit about his performance. What a beast
— NOT NICE (@Mxncz) March 10, 2018
Apart from the own goal, Eric Bailly was absolutely phenomenal today. You wouldn’t have thought it was his first start for Manchester United since November. Absolute beast. Easily one of the Premier League’s best defenders. Just needs to stay fit!
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) March 10, 2018
Don't let the own goal distract you from the fact that Eric fucking Bailly was absolutely immense. You can clearly see from his performance just how much we missed him. Top 3 favorite United players.
— Eric Fucking Bailly. (@UtdOliver) March 10, 2018
The only person that can score past Bailly is Bailly! pic.twitter.com/zn2llLBdFr
— Hêlîn (@MUnitedGirl) March 10, 2018
Bailly cost £35m.. What a bargain .
— SCHOLES (@iamscholes) March 10, 2018
Eric Bailly is what Liverpool fans think Virgil van Dijk is.
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) March 10, 2018
They said Liverpool's front 3, Salah, Mane and Firminho will destroy ManUtd, Eric Bailly had all 3 of them in his pocket, in fact he decided to make things more interesting for himself by scoring an own goal, easy.
— Utd (@SimplyUtd) March 10, 2018
United have now secured three Premier League victories on the trot, and they go into the Champions League tie versus Sevilla with plenty of confidence. Bailly appeared prone to a couple of mistakes during the dying stages of the game, but his availability is likely yo bring a sense of calmness at the heart of the backline.
There has been plenty of talk of United pursuing a new central defender during the summer, but much of it, could depend on the performances of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, though the latter, is in the treatment room.
Smalling has fared well since his poor showing against Newcastle United last month, but he does have his average moments every now and then, which trigger question marks over his long-term future at Old Trafford.