Cote d’Ivoire defence rock Eric Bailly made an earlier than expected return from a knee injury he suffered in October to give a typically robust display for his club Manchester United as they defeated Ukrainian hosts Zorya 0:2 in a Europa League game on Thursday night.
The 22-year-old was not expected to play again for United until after the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, but after missing only nine games, he reminded fans of the quality he brings to the side.
Great to see Bailly back for ManUtd that evening. Was excellent before injury and commanded and controlled the back 4 very well, United fan Danny Higginbotham tweeted.
Another fan Rob Dawson wrote: “Considering the conditions and the fact he has not played for six weeks, Eric Bailly is having a stormer.
Sportswriter and fan Liam Canning added: Thank God Eric Bailly is back. Quite frightening how much Manchester United missed him. Huge gap to fill when he goes to play at AFCON.
Meanwhile, United only lost once in the absence of Bailly, with the center-half pairing of England star Phil Jones and Argentina star Marcos Rojo impressing. However United boss Jose Mourinho is still delighted with the return of the hard-tackling Ivoirian, saying it offers him an extra option in the busy winter programme.
Now we have Bailly back but we know we are going to lose him in a few weeks because he goes to the Africa Cup of Nations. Mourinho said.
But, in this period of Christmas, where we play every three days, it is very important to have one more option.