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Manchester United's Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2L) celebrates scoring their second goal with Manchester United's English midfielder Michael Carrick (L) and Manchester United's English midfielder Jesse Lingard (R) during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United at Selhurst Park in south London on December 14, 2016. / AFP / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Analysis: Pogba And Ibrahimović Show Their True Colours As Manchester United Make It 3 Out Of 3

Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimović tore apart a shabby Crystal Palace to rack up three wins in a row, two of them being in the Premier League. Manchester United were fluid in their attack from all directions will play against West Bromwich Albion who are in good form this season as well. Blind returned to the side and Bailly played as a right-back to insulate any potential problems that could arise due to the absence of Antonio Valencia.

lineups

Paul Pogba was scintillating

The 4-3-3 has easily been the right formation for Pogba to have some freedom in the middle of the pitch. Pogba was at his natural best, making runs, held the ball well and his distribution to split defences was incredible. The French midfielder was responsible for causing havoc inside the final third and was involved in both the goals.

His key passes per game have been a consistent number and yet again he managed to have 4 of them, one of them being an assist for the winner in the 88th minute. He also had a 100% tackle rate along with 6 take-ons. A pass accuracy of 82% was brilliant considering quite a few were attempts to break the defence, which, he did a fair job of.

pogba-key-passes

Key passes – Paul Pogba

Where Palace got it wrong?

Crystal Palace scored a brilliant goal with slick passing to equalise. That goal aside, Palace were trying a bit too hard with their long ball tactics. Little showed as they had a measly success rate, 38% to be precise; United did a pretty good job to limit the long balls to such a poor rate. Palace could’ve done a better job in being less predictable but they had United breathing down their necks almost throughout the game, so that didn’t help either.

palace-long-ball

Palace deserve credit for their goal

While Palace were pretty much off in the game, their goal deserves credit as it would undo any defense. To be fair, Pogba was caught dreaming but the pass was one to catch one off guard nonetheless. The fluidity of the goal was one that could be watched, while a stop was only attemptable.

palace-goal

Talking points

Mata and Rooney did a really good job of playing wide. For players who lack pace and prefer cutting in or whipping a long ball, they did a more than decent job of helping out in defense and taking shots that bothered the Palace goalkeeper. Controversies on either end regarding the first goal, a handball from Palace, Rojo’s tackle and an onside goal from Mata were considered a routine based on recent referee performances.

For a change, it was United who didn’t suffer another draw from poor finishing and managed to score in the dying minutes to seal three valuable points and stay within touching distance of the top 4.

United need to build up on this as they face a gritty West Bromwich Albion who have been performing pretty well this season. Pogba will be looking to continue his rich run of form while Ibrahimović will look to pile up the goals.

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Rainar Angelo

An ardent follower of Manchester United who in his spare time likes to unravel mysteries of football and music.

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