Manchester United continues to show that the UEFA Champions League may be the better venue for the team’s transition to a new manager, as the Red Devils bounced up from a disappointing draw with Cardiff in the English Premier League in the weekend to a 5-nil thrashing of Bundesliga high-flyers Bayer Leverkusen. Japanese attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa was at the heart of all of United’s attacking verve, as he was given a rare start in his no. 10 role.
Having no choice but to play Kagawa centrally with Robin van Persie and Marouane Fellaini both injured, Manchester United manager David Moyes now has another selection headache to deal with as a weekend fixture against London club Tottenham Hotspur looms. The Japanese midfielder is usually shunted out to the left, but on the night against the German side who are currently second in their league, he was allowed to play in the hole behind the similarly excellent Wayne Rooney as the main striker. As United went in search of an early lead, Kagawa robbed Stefan Reinartz of the ball near the half-way line and burst forward, playing a wonderfully accurate reverse pass to Ryan Giggs before continuing his run into the penalty area. His presence in the box was enough to distract Leverkusen’s defenders, allowing Valencia to ghost in at the back post and set United on their way to a thrashing. It was a decisive moment for Kagawa, as the goal gave him more confidence to make most of his chance in the middle.
Moyes was asked what he thought Kagawa’s best position, and the manager curtly replied,”I think he’s good in them all.” While Moyes may have been trying to protect his selection choices, Kagawa’s performance on the night showed the point of the question. After tonight, it might be impossible not to put Kagawa into the selection frame when Moyes drafts his lineup for the Premier League game against Spurs on the weekend, and whether he would continue to play Kagawa where his skills are more natural and to an effect, more devastating for opponents.
[via Sky Sports]