Eric Bailly's impressive individual highlights during Man Utd 2-0 Watford

Manchester United v Watford - Premier League

Sixteen league games unbeaten and one point behind the top four proves Manchester United are well in the race for Champions League football.

A tough start to the 2016/17 season under Jose Mourinho suggested the Red Devils were out of contention but, credit where it's due, they've fought their way back.

Saturday's 2-0 win over Watford was yet another step in the right direction considering they lost 3-1 to the Hornets earlier this season in the reverse fixture.

Juan Mata broke the deadlock with 32 minutes played before Anthony Martial doubled United's lead on the hour mark with a tidy finish.

But while the Frenchman was awarded Man of the Match, one player's impressive display somewhat flew under the radar.

United have conceded zero goals in their last two games but that shouldn't come as much of a surprise given how well Eric Bailly has played since returning from AFCON.

The Ivorian, still only 22, has been magnificent since signing for £30 million last summer and his performance against Watford encapsulated his strengths.

In the video below, Bailly dominated at centre-back and made the likes of Troy Deeney and M'Baye Niang look pretty average with some superb tackles and turns.


Bailly's best moment came in the opening seconds, where he tackled Niang and avoided a challenge from Deeney with a neat piece of skill.

He was at it again in the next clip, producing a superb tackle on Niang before shielding the ball to out-muscle Deeney and keep possession.

Better still is the fact he can play. At 0:21, the Ivory Coast international picked out Daley Blind on the left flank with an inch-perfect lofted pass.

Despite impressing since returning from Gabon, Bailly still believes he has to earn Mourinho's trust before he can nail down a regular starting role.

Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League

"I've got straight back into training and now, with a bit more time, I've recovered and I'm in good shape fitness-wise," he told MUTV. "I'm back working with the rest of the lads and feeling good.

"I'm still young, so I need to have game time and to earn the manager's trust to be able to gain some experience.

"It's important for me; it helps me to give my best to help the team. I'm here to seize the opportunities the manager gives me."

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