Erik ten Hag has a big selection decision to make, but Manchester United’s Premier League victory over Fulham on Saturday has shown what he must do.
Bruno Fernandes scored a fantastic 90th-minute winner on Saturday afternoon to sink Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage, but despite the captain’s heroics, post-match conversations were focused elsewhere.
Fernandes’ brilliant goal was not without its help from young winger Facundo Pellsitri, who was sent on to impact the game by Erik ten Hag, hounding down the Fulham defensive left-hand side to win the ball back before setting up the Portuguese midfielder for victory.
Pellsitri has been praised many times this campaign so far for his work ethic and technical ability on the right wing and has been rewarded with minutes under Ten Hag this season – although he is still very much a fringe player within the grander squad.
Antony, however, has been offered many chances to put in good performances, but his match against Fulham was nothing less than abysmal, with the Brazilian winger earning just 1/10 during his 63 minutes on the field before being replaced by Pellistri.
Against Fulham, Antony made a total of 22 passes, created zero chances, had one touch in the opposition area, and completed just one of his four attempted dribbles. By contrast, Pellsitri created the winning goal, had 1/1 accurate shots, and had three touches in the opposition box.
The fixture could not have been a more obvious indication of the decision that Ten Hag must drop Antony and start Pellsitri against FC Copenhagen. With United needing three points, Antony failed to deliver when it mattered most while Pellsitri was integral to United’s win.
The pending Champions League tie against Copenhagen is yet another must-win match for Ten Hag, and Antony has proved at this moment in time that he cannot be trusted, while Pellistri has shown that he will give his absolute all. Pellstri must start, and Antony must be benched.
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