Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial might have hogged Sunday’s headlines, but it was at the other end of the field where Manchester United put in a performance of lifetime against Manchester City in the derby on Saturday. And well, it is down to Aaron Wan Bissaka’s absolute genius.
Squaring off against Raheem Sterling can be fatiguing, to say the least. Only a few, after all, have managed to muddle along with the pace of the Englishman and Wan-Bissaka at the Etihad joined the group of elites. Authoritative throughout the course, the summer acquisition ended his game with 100% successful take-ons, 7 clearances, 5 tackles, 4 blocked crosses, 3 blocks, 2 interceptions and just one foul.
Such was Wan-Bissaka’s supremacy on the night that Sterling failed to register a single shot on target.
Wan Bissaka vs Manchester City (A) • 2019/20— ً (@UtdAidan) December 7, 2019
This is one of the best defensive performances I've seen in my life pic.twitter.com/KICjFiX5KZ
City threw everything they could; their wingers swapped flanks, Gabriel Jesus at times stretched and even Kevin De Bruyne moved wide to have a go, but nothing went past the blazing right-back.
“Aaron, he's playing against Sterling out there, Mahrez out there, De Bruyne out there, and they just couldn't get past him,” said the Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the game.
The former Crystal Palace right-back hasn’t really looked firm against the teams sitting at the lower half of the table – take Bournemouth game for instance – but he has indeed delivered when the bigger opponents have tried testing his defensive prowess.
Putting up a man-of-the-match performance against an attacking unit as City’s is not something, we as spectators are usually familiar to. So, when a right-back is adjudged with the honour after playing an equally intensive game against Tottenham in the midweek, one needs to admire the steel of that athlete.
Fans, meanwhile, flooded Twitter with the issues the budding right-back could tackle.
Wan Bissaka can tackle Kenya's corruption #MCIMUN— Collins Nyamweya (@Collinsnyamwey2) December 7, 2019
Wan bissaka could tackle and stop World Hunger— Tj🌊 (@Trilljay_23) December 7, 2019
I swear Wan Bissaka can tackle climate change😂 #MCIMUN— Lt (@ltchig_lt) December 7, 2019
Only man who could tackle Brexit is Wan Bissaka #MUFC— Daniel Mcfeely (@DannyMcfeely) December 7, 2019
Wan bissaka can tackle my girlfriend I won't complain— RaajB (@Raajb12) December 7, 2019
Wan Bissaka can tackle Ghanaian economy— De Highly Spiritual (@GhBoateng) December 7, 2019
And well, there were ‘wise’ words for his performance as well.
When the ask Raheem Sterling about his encounter with Wan Bissaka. 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/GOzKlxn6KY— Flugency ♚ (@Kingkidyy) December 8, 2019
Wan Bissaka anytime Sterling and Angelino approached. pic.twitter.com/F74v4mpNCi— ™ 🤕🔱⚜️ (@whizkrane) December 7, 2019
Forget PowerPoint, Wan Bissaka has the Slides— Content Nyame (@kwadwosheldon) December 7, 2019
Aaron Wan Bissaka - I will remember that performance for a long long long time. Abosulety mental shift put in. Blocked evrything blocked everyone. Let's pay Palace another 50mil just for that performance alone. #mufc— Aditya Rathod (@aditya_reds) December 7, 2019
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Lindsey Parnaby