Marouane Fellaini.

Steven Gerrard reveals the reality of having to face Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini

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Manchester United look like a real force to contend with this season, in Jose Mourinho's second season in charge at Old Trafford.

The arrivals of Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic - as well as Zlatan Ibrahimovic's return - have bolstered a squad that already looked well equipped to challenge for the title.

So it's no surprise to see the Red Devils joint top of the table with 19 points after seven games alongside Manchester City.

Mourinho's men are just one goal shy of top scorers City, with 22, following another comfortable afternoon at Old Trafford with a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday. 

That was done in the absence of Ibrahimovic - who is set to return from his long-term injury lay-off in the new year - and Paul Pogba who is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

It's been hard luck for United, but the results have continued to be produced thanks to the strength and depth at their disposal.

However, following the Red Devils' win over struggling Palace - who have yet to score this season - Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard hailed the qualities of one man in particular.

Forget the likes of Ander Herrera, Lukaku and Marcus Rashford for a moment, as Gerrard believes it is their super-sub Marouane Fellaini that deserves plenty of credit following their sixth win of the season.

Gerrard: Fellaini horrible to play against

“He’s horrible [to play against]," Gerrard told BT Sport of his experiences against the former Everton midfielder, per Goal.

“He’s a handful, even when he was at Everton, he was a little bit further forward.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League

“He used to back in, get flick-ons, hold the ball up.

“The key here is that the manager loves him. He’s always going on record praising him."

However, Gerrard won't be trying to stake a claim for why Mourinho should start Fellaini more often, instead insisting the 29-year-old makes for a brilliant "Plan B" option.

Plan B a "clever" decision for United

“I think he’s been quite clever keeping him as a Plan B because sometimes you can try all the class and all the nice bits, but sometimes you need to go ugly, you need to go direct, you need to have a Plan B," said Gerrard.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League

“He’s certainly Manchester United’s Plan B and he’s very effective.”

Fellaini has started just half of his six Premier League appearances so far this season, scoring on three occasions. But he could act as an effective stand-in during Pogba's absence.

Michael Carrick
Paul Pogba
Marouane Fellaini

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