Some amusing stats: are Man United better with Fellaini?
Writing for Sky Sports, Gerard Brand ponders over Marouane Fallini's role at United and concludes the Belgian will become one of the key players at Etihad on Sunday.
"Fellaini, often ridiculed and synonymous with the failed tenures of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, proved a nuisance in the opposition's box against Juventus. His influential cameo begs the question: is respect for Fellaini's contributions is overdue? And just how does Jose Mourinho continue to get the best out of him? Since August 2017, United's minutes-per-goal ratio is far lower with Fellaini on the pitch compared to him off the pitch - 44 to 59."
"In the last eight months alone he has contributed to four huge wins for club and country, and Wednesday's victory in Turin was a perfect example of his threat. Chris Smalling and Paul Pogba helped bundle United's winner in off Alex Sandro, securing arguably the greatest European result of Mourinho's tenure. After the game, the Portuguese made sure he noted Fellaini's introduction."
"I think it was important to make the team alive again, because when we concede the goal, the team had a period where psychologically we went down a little bit. Fellaini gave us an option to be alive again, by playing directly, bringing the game again to the last third, and by being in the last third, it gave us the chance to create situations like we did."
"So, should we see Fellaini more from minute one? Probably not. United's win percentage since August 2017 with him starting is 50 per cent compared to 65 per cent without him starting."
"But his use should not be sniffed at. The complexity of football games change dramatically over 90 minutes, and a style from the off is not necessarily the same style in the final 30 minutes, hence the futility of that common cry: "Why can't we play like that from the start?!"
"Fellaini injected new life into United's Champions League campaign and provided a great lift ahead of Sunday's derby clash at Manchester City. Don't be surprised to see him causing havoc late on at the Etihad if United are chasing the game."