Manchester United fans pleased with Marouane Fellaini’s cameo against Real Madrid

by Leo Nieboer

Manchester United fans were quick to point out the positive influence brought by Marouane Fellaini during their side’s 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.

Jose Mourinho had just seen his side fall two goals behind, with the brilliant Isco leaving the entire back four flat-footed before sweeping home, and immediately called for the Belgian to get ready.

He came on and altered the game’s entire dynamic, bringing Man United further up the pitch and pestering Madrid’s back four with his direct, physical style.

And supporters, often quick to criticise the 29-year-old, pointed out the positive influence Fellaini brought to the game.

I’ll be honest, when Madrid, for the first 55 minutes, were carving out openings left right and centre, with the unstoppable Isco giving United constant nightmares, it didn’t occur to me for a second that Fellaini’s lumbering figure would do much at all.

But it did. In fact, from the moment he came on United grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. Pinning down exactly what change he brought from a tactical sense is hard to do. Perhaps that misses the point. There is just something about his bustling, almost abnormally structured presence that unsettles teams, and it laid the platform for a second half revival that should have seen United take the game to extra time.

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