Has The Real Memphis Finally Stood Up? 3 Things We Learnt From Manchester United v Midtjylland

Despite having 15 players out injured and most of them from the first team, Manchester United put in a sensational performance as they put 5 past Danish Champions FC Midtjylland last night in the 2nd leg of the Europa League Round of 32 in what was easily the match of the season so far. The Red Devils were desperately poor in the first leg last week, as they lost 2-1 away at the MCH Arena despite taking the lead.

Even last night, United went 1-0 down thanks to some school boyish defending. The fans feared of the worst, but the team rallied through, and goals from Memphis Depay, Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera and an own goal from Brotolova ensured that we got through 6-3 on aggregate. Here are the 3 things we learnt from the game:

1. Has the real Memphis finally stood up?

Memphis Depay

Memphis Depay came to United amidst a lot of expectations, and he was handed the legendary no. 7 jersey immediately as van Gaal thought he was good enough to carry on the legacy. However, his performances have been highly erratic so far, but last night he showed why the Dutchman was not wrong in his assessment of the player.

The young winger put in an outrageous performance out wide, as he nutmegged and outran his fullback over and over again. It was the kind of performance you would expect from a United no. 7, filled with audacity and skill that takes the audience off their seat. He capped it off with a brilliant finish as well, and one hopes that Depay can keep going at it with as much swagger as he did last night consistently now.

2. Van Gaal brings the best out of youngsters like no other

varela

The huge number of injuries that has happened to the team has forced van Gaal to bring in a large number of players from the Reserves team, and he has consistently brought out the best from them. Last night, Guillermo Varela, Joe Riley, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Androis Perreira and Poole all featured for the team, and most of them were excellent. Rashford was the pick of the lot, as the 18 year old who has been supporting the club as a kid scored a brace at the Stretford End, marking a dream debut. Varela and Riley were also very impressive, as they helped the wingers with overlaps and also cut down the width for Midtjylland on the counters. Overall, it was extremely satisfying to watch them doing so well in their first season at the biggest level.

3. We need Smalling back

Smalling

Chris Smalling got injured just before the game, so Michael Carrick was shifted back to centre back. The midfielder was decent, but the entire defence fell like a pack of cards when Sisoto had the ball for the first goal. If we want to nullify the likes of Ozil, Sanchez and Giroud on Sunday, we need Smalling back for the game against Arsenal on Sunday at any cost.