Manchester United’s in-form full-backs Ashley Young and Luke Shaw are looking ahead to Tuesday's mouthwatering home game against Juventus with optimism, after a near-perfect second-half showing against Chelsea.
Young and Shaw expertly nullified Chelsea’s dangermen Eden Hazard and Willian, enabling Anthony Martial’s double to cancel out Antonio Rudiger’s first-half header before Ross Barkley unfortunately grabbed a 96th-minute leveller for the hosts.
The performances of Ashley and his fellow England international, Luke, were duly recognised with nominations for the Man of the Match award that was eventually won by Martial.
And despite the disappointment of dropping two points right at the death, both defenders believe the Reds can take plenty of positives from another second-half comeback, added to the recent one against Newcastle United, and head into the Champions League clash with Juventus full of confidence.
“I think we have to look at the positives,
“ Young told MUTV.
“I think we deserved to win it, especially when we got back into the game and we really did get on top, but this is what we have to do [against Juventus].
“We have to go into the game looking to start on more of the front foot, especially at home. That’s the way we have got to do it, like we did in the second half against Newcastle and for 60, 65 minutes of this game against Chelsea and as long as we play that way then I am sure we will get the right result.”
Young felt on another day the Reds could have put the game to bed in the second half and come away with the well-deserved three points.
“It’s one of those things, we are just disappointed in the dressing room,” he continued.
“But we have to take the positives from the game and I think the way we played in the second half especially, we were fantastic at times.
“On another day we could have scored a third goal, but it wasn’t meant to be. It comes off the post, David saves it, it goes back to their man and they score. It is disappointing, but we have to take the positives from the game and kick on from here.
“There were spaces for us to play in, especially in the first half when we got the ball to our front three and we actually said it was fairly easy to get it to them, but that end pass, that cross or that [final] shot is what we needed to improve and we did that in the second half. Like I say, on another day we could have gone on to get another goal, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Shaw, who turned in another fine performance after signing a new five-year United contract, echoed Young’s comments and also made a point of looking ahead to Tuesday night.
“Chelsea had a few set pieces that caused us problems, but I think in open play, they didn’t test us as much as they have tested other teams this season with the quality they have,” Luke told MUTV.
“We came in at half-time 1-0 down, but we knew we didn’t have to change much, maybe push a little bit more because I thought when we had the ball we were playing football, but the final ball in the first half was lacking that cutting edge.
“In the second half we were better, more like ourselves and we were playing football and defending well as a team and our counter-attack was good for the goals. Martial had two very good finishes, and we should have won the game,” he added.
“We now have a very important game on Tuesday that we need to focus on and we need to win because it is important to win our home games in the Champions League. So we need to take the positives from the second half against Chelsea and move forward.”