Antonio Valencia has been handed a place in Garth Crooks’ BBC ‘Team of the Week’ following his superb display during Manchester United’s 4-0 win over Everton on Sunday afternoon.
The Ecuadorian was rested for United’s 3-0 win over FC Basel on Tuesday night and restored to right back against the Toffees, with Ashley Young switching to the left hand side, and he didn’t take long to make his presence felt: Nemanja Matic’s ball appeared to bypass everyone, but as Valencia lined up a shot you felt as if something special was about to happen. It was a simply incredible strike – one that could only be unleashed once in a hundred attempts – that left Everton, and indeed the wider world, in a state of awe whilst giving United the perfect platform from which to dominate the game.
And he militantly went about his business on the right hand side. Everton were making headway down United’s left, with Tom Davies and Cuco Martina looking sharp, but nothing was getting past the 32-year-old on the other side. Leighton Baines barely crossed the half-way line and Gylfi Siggurdson received only a handful of touches. This was business as usual for Valencia: nullifying any threat down his side and then bombing down the flank, linking up smartly with Juan Mata. He does this every week, without fail.
Valencia was, in turn, handed a place in Crooks’ ‘Team of the Week’ once again this season. And you sense it won’t be his last appearance.