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Marouane Fellaini silences critics with sensational performance against Bournemouth

by Leo Nieboer

Marouane Fellaini has silenced his critics with an astounding performance during Manchester United’s 3-1 win over AFC Bournemouth on Sunday.

The Belgian’s inclusion in Jose Mourinho’s starting XI ahead of Michael Carrick and Morgan Schneiderlin prompted widespread discontent and bemusement amongst Man United fans.

However, Fellaini produced arguably his best performance in a United shirt against Eddie Howe’s side, acting as a stellar and assured presence in midfield all afternoon.

As the below stat shows, the 28-year-old was hugely tidy and efficient on the ball, misplacing just one pass all game.

Against a Bournemouth side that pressed with optimum intensity for 70 minutes, that level of assuredness and composure is something to admire. Often criticised for his immobility and lacklustre manipulation of the ball, Fellaini gave an almost complete midfield performance against Eddie Howe’s side, dovetailing immense control with his natural muscle and aggression.

For whatever reason, he acts as an easy scapegoat for United fans – someone to point the finger at when things don’t go to plan. And yet, when you see the fuzzy-headed Belgian in action, fending off rampaging midfielders with his sheer stature and cooly picking out teammates, you wonder why.

But with new world record signing Paul Pogba now able to stamp his authority on the Premier League, Fellaini will have his work cut out when it comes to forcing his way into the starting XI, with Mourinho hinting last week that he wants to deploy a midfield duo of Pogba and Carrick this season.

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