Many Manchester United fans would have been disgruntled if Harry Maguire had been benched for last night’s game against Brighton.
Maguire, on the other hand, was given the start and was partnered by Victor Lindelof after Raphael Varane pulled out due to illness before kickoff.
The encounter against Brighton was a significant test for United’s defense, especially Maguire. He handled it brilliantly, and the club walked away with a much-needed clean sheet in a 2-0 victory.
David de Gea had to save the team on a couple of occasions, and Brighton hit the crossbar before Danny Welbeck missed a late header. As a result, it was not a flawless defensive performance.
It was a far better one, though, especially from Harry Maguire, who will be relieved that the Seagulls did not have Armando Borja driving their attack.
Maguire answered admirably.
Harry Maguire has won more aerial duels than any other Manchester United player. He also had five clearances, which was a team-high.
Maguire went on to make four interceptions, second only to Brighton’s Yves Bissouma’s six.
The defender completed 90% of his passes and had a late shot that prompted Robert Sanchez to make a low save.
Of course, there are still unanswered questions about Maguire. The encounter against Leeds this weekend will be another test, and things only get tougher after that, with Atletico Madrid and then a Watford side he was sent off against the last time they met.
For the time being, this performance was sufficient to relieve some of the pressure on the United and England defense.
As previously stated, it was far from ideal, but it was a step in the right direction, so credit where credit is due following a couple of very poor performances leading up to last night’s game.
A clean sheet boosts the confidence of United’s players, and it would be great to follow it up with another against Leeds this weekend.