After our match report, we cast a detailed eye over United’s Barclays Premier League win over Hull...
The Match: A much-altered United side passed the ball around attractively and were patient. Marouane Fellaini was influential in a more advanced position, while Shinji Kagawa enjoyed a free role that saw the Japan international drifting in centrally from the left. New boys James Wilson and Tom Lawrence brought a much-needed injection of energy as the focal point of United’s attacks, and both looked to get involved from the off. A livelier second half saw chances galore and the welcome sight of Ryan Giggs teasing an opposition defence again.
The Goals: Adnan Januzaj looped in a free kick from the right and, after Fellaini nodded the ball down, Wilson slammed it through goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic’s legs with his left foot. Wilson’s dream debut continued when he showed predatory instincts to latch onto the rebound after Fellaini’s stabbed effort was saved at point-blank range. Hull hit back almost immediately when sub Matty Fryatt bent the ball around David De Gea from 25 yards, but Robin van Persie sealed the win when he beat Jakupovic, at the second time of asking, from the edge of the box.
Star Man: Wilson looked perfectly at home at this level on a debut to remember, taking his chances with aplomb and was clearly not overawed by the occasion. Adnan Januzaj grew more influential as the game wore on, and Giggs gave a cameo performance to remember.
Sub-plot: Giggs fielded a new-look strike partnership when he handed Lawrence, 20, and 18-year-old Wilson their debuts. It was an unexpected, but welcome, move and the pair grabbed the opportunity with both hands. The question of whether Giggs would bring himself on was answered in fine style, the Welsh maestro rolling back the years with a 20-minute cameo performance of flair and artistry that was nearly capped off with a late free-kick goal.
Opposition: Steve Bruce’s side were barely out of their own half in the opening 45 minutes, with a subdued display not seeing their fringe players making a bid for their club’s first FA Cup final appearance, later this month. The pacey Ahmed Elmohamady, a shoo-in for Wembley if fit, posed problems and Hull had the spirit to hit back immediately