Manchester United needed penalties to see off high-flying Brighton in their FA Cup semifinal at Wembley as they secured entry to the final for the 21st time in their history.
After the Europa League disappointment mid-week against Sevilla, even the most ardent United fan knew how difficult it would be on Sunday considering the team’s defensive weakness and the quality of Brighton’s attackers.
United went into the contest without both first-choice centre-backs in Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane out while club skipper Harry Maguire was suspended for the encounter.
Shaw had a great game
Manager Erik ten Hag picked a make-shift back four with Victor Lindelof partnering left-back Luke Shaw in the heart of defence while Diogo Dalot played on the left and Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the right.
And Shaw once again put in a perfect display as the left-sided centre-back and it is safe to say that he is one of the most improved players under Ten Hag.
The 27-year-old always looked like a player who would never reach his potential after years of underachievement, but under the Dutch manager he looks a player reborn.
Luke Shaw’s game by numbers vs. Brighton:
120 mins played
85% pass accuracy
3/4 ground duels won
3 long balls completed
2/2 tackles won
1/1 dribbles completed
Looked right at home at CB again. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/JBaaZapRck
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 23, 2023
As a left-back or a centre-back, the England international has always risen to the occasion and his performances have merited the new contract that he has got.
Against the Seagulls, Shaw finished the 120 minutes with a passing accuracy rate of 85% while having 62 touches of the ball.
Shaw should retain his CB status in games to come irrespective of available personnel
In the second-half, with United dominating, he even ventured forward a couple of times and completed three long balls while having a 100% dribbling accuracy rate.
Defensively, Shaw used his pace and power to halt any Brighton attacks. He won three out of four ground duels while making three clearances and two interceptions.
Shaw was impervious in the tackles as he both of his tackles and his performance was a timely reminder that the manager need not worry about missing personnel.
Even with Maguire back and the possibility of having Varane back, the left centre-back role could be donned by Shaw going forward.
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Courtesy : https://thepeoplesperson.com/2023/04/23/luke-shaw-shines-yet-again-at-the-heart-of-defence-and-is-manchester-uniteds-most-improved-player-263061/