Finally! Ander Herrera got the start that all Manchester United fans have been craving. Yesterday’s second leg Champions League Qualifier saw the Spainsh midfielder’s first start since last season.
Social media exploded with posts showing fans jubilant at Herrera’s start in the Club Brugge match. Their enthusiasm was well met by the Spaniard.
Ander got stuck in from the first whistle, getting booked in the 13th minute for tripping. He put in a hard worked shift, chasing down opposition and trying to create chances. He even started the move for the first goal, carrying it through midfield then distributing it to Memphis, who assisted Rooney’s first.
The second half is when he began to influence the score board. 4 minutes in he teed up Rooney for his second of the evening. After surging into the box, having a perfectly good scoring opportunity himself, he squared the ball between two defenders for the oncoming Rooney to finish off.
Herrera then had a part to play in Rooney’s hat-trick. It was his ball to Mata which allowed his countryman to cut inside and set up Rooney.
In the 63rd minute he grabbed a goal for himself. He read a huge, cutting floor pass from Bastian that went straight through the middle of Brugge’s half. Ander then slotted it past the keeper. His celebration showed how desperate he was to impress.
The Spaniard was subbed off after his goal for Javier Hernández, who went on to miss a penalty with a slip like John Terry in Moscow. Not that it made any difference to the final result.
It was easy to see why there was so such outrage at his exclusion in the Newcastle game last weekend. But, will he start in the next Premier League match at Swansea?
The Red Devils lost both of last years fixtures against the Welsh side 2-1. Last seasons game at the Liberty Stadium saw Ander Herrera score a 28th minute goal to put United 1-0 up.
The issue with Louis van Gaal playing the same line up as he did yesterday, despite it yielding 4 goals, is the lack of Schneiderlin. He has been crucial to the clean sheet streak United have built up in the Prem. Against opposition with a good attack, like Swansea, the Frenchman would be sorely missed in front of the back four.
If Herrera were to play, he would have to play over Carrick/Schweinsteiger, alongside Schneiderlin. He could possibly play instead of Januzaj in attacking midfield. The lack of goals in the Premier League may be a problem but in keeping a clean sheet secures at least one point.