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Why Tyrell Malacia against Manchester City was his best performance yet



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Credit: IMAGO / PA Images

One of the six signings Manchester United made in the summer was left-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord. Arriving for just £15 million, Malacia was considered by many a bargain and a talented player for both the present and the future.

Life at Old Trafford so far for Malacia has seen him make 21 appearances, contributing in a big way to Manchester United’s brilliant run of form.

Malacia has put in some excellent performances in his six months at United so far. He has already started some big games, including matches at Old Trafford against Liverpool and Arsenal, where he put in two applaudable performances.

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However, arguably Malacia’s best performance in red so far came in Saturday’s Manchester derby victory. He came up against one of the Premier League’s most experienced wingers, Riyad Mahrez. Malacia coped with both the occasion of his first Manchester Derby at Old Trafford and facing Mahrez excellently, playing like a player with experience far beyond his years.

Defensively, Malacia’s work rate, as it has been all season, was second to none. He didn’t give Mahrez much space and was constantly breathing down his neck, looking to put a challenge in on the Algerian international. If he ended up isolated in a one-vs-one against Mahrez, Malacia stood his ground, and was overall able to win the ball back, or, at the very least, delay the winger until there was more support.

He once again read the game well yesterday and showed good anticipation, which led to him making two vital interceptions. He also made five clearances and won all three of the tackles he attempted. It was a memorable defensive performance from the young Dutchman.

Aside from his relentlessness defensively, he was composed on the ball. The fullback helped United play out from the back, and beat the press of Manchester City on several occasions, especially in the first half. He completed more final third passes than any other United player, and only Christian Eriksen attempted as many as the Dutchman.

Malacia supported the attacking players well and linked up well in the first half with Eriksen, at times inverting to assist him in midfield and create an overload. However, he was also excellent when overlapping the left winger, which he did consistently. He offered the winger, be it Rashford, Garnacho, or someone else, an alternative passing option, and got into some good crossing positions.

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Overall, Malacia made a brilliant contribution against Manchester City. He put in another bright performance in what has been an impressive debut season so far with United. The Dutchman is a player who has been improving week after week this season.

With Erik ten Hag’s side still being in all four competitions, Malacia will have a big role to play, and fans will hope to see more performances like he has shown consistently all season, especially in the Manchester derby.