At half time, Manchester United were in a 0-0 stalemate with Liverpool with neither side having any particularly dangerous attempts at goal.
Unfortunately for United’s young Dutchman, Memphis Depay, he was the one to be taken off right at the start of the second half.
Louis van Gaal believed that Ashley Young’s skill set was better suited to impact the game, given how it had unravelled in the first half.
Young made an instant impression on the game, forcing Liverpool onto the back foot. Soon after coming onto the field, he earned Manchester United the free kick that would transpire into Daley Blind’s opening goal.
Manchester United then went on to win 3-1. The other goals were a self-earned penalty by Ander Herrera; an incredible, and unstoppable, overhead kick from Christian Benteke and; a fantastic run and great finish for new kid Anthony Martial.
Young spoke to ManUtd.com about his time on the field, and United’s win:
“The boss told me I was coming on at the break. He didn’t give me too many instructions but I knew what I had to do.”
“As a winger you want to get the ball and run at the full-back, get crosses in the box and create chances. And when you’ve got Felli in the team, pulling off at the back post, you can put the ball there and know he’s going to win it.”
“It was tough in the first half. Liverpool sat behind the ball for a lot of the game. We had a lot of possession but we knew we had to come out in the second half and create more chances. After getting the first goal as quickly as we did, we were always on the front foot and didn’t look back.”
“We’re delighted to get the three points and bounce back from the defeat against Swansea, and there’s no better feeling than to do it against our rivals at Old Trafford.”
The English winger went on praise the Red Devil’s defence and showed his excitement for the upcoming UEFA Champions League match against Memphis Depay’s old club, PSV Eindhoven.
“Before the Swansea game, we hadn’t let a goal in,”
“Benteke’s goal was one of those where you have to put your hands up and say it was a good finish, but the defence has been fantastically solid and you need that if you want to win trophies.”
“We’re delighted to be back in the Champions League,” Young added. “We’re looking forward to Tuesday’s game but it won’t be easy – we know we can expect something different from PSV.”
“It’ll be nice for Memphis going back. He’s an old head on young shoulders, so he’ll be able to handle the occasion, as will all the players who go over there.”
Last season, Young started very few games for Manchester United, once Van Gaal switched from 3 at the back to 4. But, following Ángel Di María’s injury, he took his chance and solidified his place on United’s left wing.
He kept his spot for the rest of the season, whilst successfully fending off Adnan Januzaj and Ángel Di María. It is believed that Young’s performances, that kept Di María out of his preferred position, was the catalyst to cause the Argentinean to leave the club.
It will be interesting to see how this will impact Memphis Depay and his playing time in the upcoming fixtures.