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Super Nani

"A look at his goals and assists record - as highlighted by Sir Alex at the press conference I attended this week - tells you all you need to know about his contribution to the cause."

- Adam Marshall
23/11/2011 16:15, Report by Adam Marshall
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Blog: Nani is Reds' spark

It's possible to argue that Nani has one of the most difficult roles in the United side.

One of the most encouraging aspects of a good overall team performance in the 2-2 draw with Benfica was the suggestion that the winger is starting to recover top form after the distraction of the international break.

For me, Nani is key to the Reds' success because he offers something different and manages to shoulder the burden of being asked to make things happen out on the pitch. Others in the line-up clearly have more functional duties, whether it's marshalling the defence, winning tackles or keeping possession in midfield.

Nani is often charged with the responsibility of making a major mark on matches and has proved numerous times in the past that he is up to the task. A look at his goals and assists record - as highlighted by Sir Alex at the press conference I attended this week - tells you all you need to know about his contribution to the cause.

But his importance to United is greater and more fundamental than that. He is the go-to man we look for in order to unlock defences by beating his man, running at defenders, providing pinpoint crosses and firing in ferocious shots from distance.

By its very nature, this is a difficult job to do. It means he sometimes loses the ball when dribbling - defenders are capable of making the odd well-timed tackle. His balls into the box do not always find their man - again no major crime when the Reds are usually outnumbered in that area. And his shots do not always fly into the top corner - some of them miss the target.

Presumably, for this reason, a section of fans and the press seem to feel Nani is 'hit and miss' or inconsistent.

While it's true his Euro 2012 play-off exertions for Portugal may have taken something out of him before the trip to Swansea, the familiar sparkle was back at Old Trafford on

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