Winning football matches might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Ashley Young.

Having spent the last two seasons seemingly increasingly interested in earning free-kicks and penalties over actually scoring goals, we all wondered whether we would get the Ashley Young from his Aston Villa days back.

Since signing for Manchester United, Young has contributed only nine goals in all competitions, while adding 12 assists. For an attacking midfielder/winger at Man Utd, those statistics aren't great.

Young does however, make the news in other avenues. For the past two years, it appears that every time Young turns out for Man Utd he has a penchant for lets say, "making a meal" of offences.

It was with a glimmer of hope that Young could turn this round, to be the source of a positive headline. It seems to have appeared last night, in the Capital One Cup quarter-final at Stoke's Britannia Stadium.

Young scored his first goal since May 2012. Just like his overall statistics, a player of his stature at Man Utd should not be going 19 months, or 36 games, without scoring a goal.

David Moyes said he feels last night's performance could prove to be turning point in Ashley Young's Manchester United career. 

Young was instrumental in nearly all of United's attacks, having two shots at goal to add to his goal and assist for Patrice Evra's stunning right-footed effort.

Young's performance was nowhere near perfect, most notably his delivery from corners and free-kicks was not his best, albeit the weather undoubtedly had a hand in that.

His celebration emphasised the struggles he had been going through also. Sheer relief and joy at his match turning strike which he shared with the large contingent of United fans in the Marston's Pedigree Stand.

United fans have been the first to show their displeasure at Young's constant poor performances and play-acting while pulling on the red shirt, and have been calling out for Young to be making headlines for the right reasons.

The next important step for Young is to carry this vein of form over the Christmas period. Another few stand-out performances will do him no harm in his attempt to get on the plane to Brazil in the summer either.

United host West Ham this Saturday afternoon, and I wouldn't put it past him to perform just as well, if not better, at Old Trafford.

It is important to take it one game at a time, build some momentum and have a run of games. On his day, Young can be a top winger. It is just a shame that those days are too few and far between.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Football