Manchester United defender Chris Smalling was delighted to be back under the lights at Old Trafford in the Champions League, as the Reds defeated Wolfsburg 2-1.
It was Man United’s first top-tier European game at home since the 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich almost 18 months ago. Smalling proved to be the match-winner on this occasion, slotting past the Wolfsburg goalkeeper at the Stretford End to give the Reds all three points.
The Englishman has been one of United’s most consistent players thus far this season and put in another solid display against the German side. Smalling was a key figure for United today as they found themselves under immense pressure, especially towards the back end of the match.
— Chris Smalling (@ChrisSmalling) September 30, 2015
The 25-year-old remained calm throughout and ensured that the Reds got through to the final whistle with all three points in the bag. His goal could prove to be crucial by the end of the group stage, with all four teams in United’s group now level on points.
Supporters of the club have become accustomed to seeing some brilliant showings from the central defender. Since his sending off against Manchester City last season, Smalling has come on leaps and bounds and now must be one of the first names on the team sheet. He has formed a resolute defensive partnership with Daley Blind and will hope they can continue their fine form when they make the trip to Arsenal on Sunday.
It is a huge opportunity to open up a gap at the top of the league over one of their main title rivals and United will be looking forward to the game on the back of a brilliant victory in Europe, something Arsenal could not achieve yesterday.