Sunday, 1 October 2017

Fantastic Fellaini leads the charge as free-scoring United win with ease

Romelu Lukaku may be taking all the plaudits for his red-hot start to life at United, but our other big Belgian has also received widespread praise.  Much-maligned midfielder Marouane Fellaini scored twice in one match for the club for the first time, and was voted United's man of the match against Palace.

His status as David Moyes marquee summer signing - coupled with the fact that he's considered  the antithesis of the United identikit - has seen Fellaini made a scapegoat in the turbulent post Ferguson years.  But the unmistakeable Belgian has been a key cog in Jose's rejuvenated Reds so far and continued his impressive scoring form with a goal in each half to notch his maiden brace for United. Fellaini now has four goals this season, more than last term's tally and level with his total across  the previous two campaigns. 

After Juan Mata's early opener, Fellaini's two goals - a volley and a trademark header - sandwiched Lukaku's late fourth. His other two goals this term have both come as a substitute, against Leicester in the league and Basel in our first Champions League match. 

It's all credit to Fellaini who has worked hard to revive a United career that hit its nadir last December against Tottenham. That was a match that saw him booed by sections of the Old Trafford crowd when he came on as a sub, having conceded a late penalty at Everton the previous week. But since then, he's not looked back and has shown consistency, courage and mental strength to become a key man for Jose.
That's despite him being strongly linked with a move away to Turkish side Galatasaray in the summer. 

Fellaini scored the decisive goal in the semi-finals of both the EFL Cup and Europa League and was hailed for his dominant performance in the final of the latter, as United overpowered Ajax to win 2-0.  The 29-year-old has responded well to the responsibility of filling in for the injured Paul Pogba - and it's testament to him that United's momentum has not been checked by the Frenchman's absence.

Fellaini has linked superbly with Nemanja Matic and has used his physical presence and aerial ability to control the midfield.  United boss Jose Mourinho was full of praise after the win against the Eagles, and said: 

"He is a great player, a great character and a fighter. I am really pleased that I helped him reach this level and to change the perception of the fans. I am very happy for him." 

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