Manchester United were extremely unfortunate to lose to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Blues got their tactics spot on as they stifled Louis van Gaal’s passing game. United struggled to create enough clear cut chances or test Thibaut Courtois enough.
The news that United would be missing four of their regular first team starters came as a huge blow the day before the game. Michael Carrick, Daley Blind, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo were all ruled out through injuries.
It meant that the defence had to be re-shuffled. Wayne Rooney dropped into midfield whilst Paddy McNair and Luke Shaw came into the backline.
It is testament to their squad depth that the only absentee that United really missed was Carrick as Shaw filled in for Blind exceptionally at left-back.
The Dutchman had brought stability and calmness to that position in recent weeks as he linked up superbly with Ashley Young and Marouane Fellaini down the left-hand side. Blind is not blessed with great pace so has used his knowledge of the game to excel.
However, Shaw is a different animal and the potential to become a world class full-back. Unlike Blind, it is his only natural position and can fully focus on becoming the first choice in that position at Old Trafford.
Shaw was helped by the fact that his defensive skills were not tested as Chelsea sat back and protected a lead given to them by Eden Hazard. He was also helped by the fact the Blues were more focused on stopping any threat from Young or Fellaini than going forward down that side.
It meant Shaw could fully focus on his threat going forward and he obliged with a superb display. As the extra man on the overlap, Shaw utilised his phenomenal burst of speed to get in behind Chelsea several times.
His adventures saw Branislav Ivanovic pick up a yellow card and become United’s main threat going forward as the Blues cut off all avenues through the middle.
As if we did not know it already, Shaw has the potential to become both United and England left-back for years to come.
He is still just a teenager but must begin to play regularly next season to reach that undoubted potential. He appears to be the perfect modern full-back and will live up to his hefty price-tag.