Move aside Mata; Antonio Valencia was United's unsung hero against Liverpool

Manchester United defeated Liverpool 2-1 on Sunday and Antonio Valencia had a game to remember.

Manchester United’s 2-1 victory against Liverpool on Sunday saw one player in particular come to the fore.

Juan Mata’s brace was both impressive and vital, and with a five-point gap now between United and Brendan Rodgers’ side there is every chance Louis van Gaal’s men will qualify for the Champions League again next season.

But as impressive as Mata was at Anfield, there is another United player who deserves plenty of plaudits of his own.

Antonio Valencia was the unsung hero of the victory against Liverpool; the right-back making a vital contribution.

He may not have scored the goals but without the Ecuador international there is a strong chance United may have ultimately dropped two points; an occurrence that would have changed everything.

Against Liverpool, Valencia had a passing accuracy of 92 per cent, his composure vital in a game of that magnitude.

  Passing AccuracyDribblesDuels WonInterceptions WonTackles WonTouchesBall RecoveriesDispossessedMins Played
Antonio Valencia 92% 2 5 1 3 94 10 0 90

He also won five duels, one interception and three tackles, showcasing his defensive qualities, while he recovered the ball on 10 occasions and was not dispossessed all afternoon.

In short, the United winger-cum-full-back was solid throughout, refusing to give an inch against Liverpool.

Rafael may wonder why he is not getting a game for United right now, but watching Valencia’s latest performance, it is clear exactly why.

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