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Home Sports Axel Tuanzebe – Manchester United’s unlikely hero in Paris

Axel Tuanzebe – Manchester United’s unlikely hero in Paris

Written by Shashank Nair

October 22, 2020 1:23:45 am

Alex Tuanzebe (Reuters)

For long-time Manchester United supporters, Axel Tuanzebe is a widely known title – a reputation immediately related to swimming pools of potential but in addition with a profession interrupted by a number of accidents. On Tuesday, Tuanzebe returned after a 10-month hole and shut out Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, arguably two of the perfect attacking abilities on this planet, in a 2-1 Champions League group stage win for Manchester United at Paris Saint-Germain.

What Tuanzebe did

There have been a few moments in United’s away journey to the Parc des Princes the place all Mbappe might do was scratch his head and look wide-eyed on the referee. On one event, Mbappe was by on purpose with acres of area and simply goalkeeper David de Gea to beat. However Tuanzebe displayed velocity – a uncommon commodity in a current Manchester United defence. He caught up with the French star and managed to push him off as De Gea collected the ball and averted the hazard.

There was one other occasion the place Tuanzebe and Mbappe collided. This time, the ahead reduce inside to his left and was millimetres away from pulling the set off. However the United defender used his higher physique power to carry him off and get the ball, guaranteeing that the shot by no means took place. Mbappe, the youngest participant to ever rating in a World Cup remaining since Pele, was thwarted once more.

What did the stats say

Tuanzebe ended the sport with a 92 per cent go completion price. He gained 100 per cent of the aerial duels he contested. He made a significant block to maintain United within the recreation throughout a interval the place PSG have been seeking to rating. The defender additionally managed seven clearances within the victory and solely conceded two fouls.

Whereas the statistics by themselves aren’t extraordinary, Tuanzebe had returned from harm when he took his spot in opposition to Colchester United in a Carabao Cup tie in December 2019. He needed to be taken off in that recreation after 65 minutes and it appeared like yet one more ‘what if’ second for him.

To go from taking part in his final match in opposition to a League Two crew and a 10-month layoff to then dealing with the Champions League runners-up might need appeared like a problem too stiff, however Tuanzebe jumped and landed completely.

What he mentioned

A facet of the defender recognised by supervisor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is his skill to be a pacesetter on the pitch. Within the post-match presser, Tuanzebe as soon as once more confirmed why he’s rated so extremely by United when he mentioned, “We confirmed PSG respect, however finally we’re the larger crew and we wish to dominate and get the three factors.”

The 22-year outdated additionally spoke about his harm layoff. “I’m feeling okay. You prepare arduous for this [big Champions League games]. I’ve been with the rehab crew they usually’ve been getting me in day by day and dealing me arduous for these sorts of moments, and it’s lastly paid off.”

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