Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed the “absolutely fantastic” performance of Eric Bailly in the 2-0 win over rivals Chelsea on Monday night.
The Cote d’Ivoire defender made his first English top-flight appearance since April 2019 after replacing ill Victor Lindelof, joining Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw in a three-man United backline.
Bailly put a solid display to keep Frank Lampard’s men under check, with his high points including a terrific first-half tackle to deny Cezar Azpilicueta a one-on-one shot against David De Gea, and a challenge to halt Mateo Kovacic in a dangerous position.
Subsequently, the Red Devils boss was quick to praise the 25-year-old’s contribution while highlighting his qualities.
“Absolutely fantastic, wasn’t he?” the manager told media after the game.
“Not a bad [selection] conundrum, because Eric’s a top player. It was his first game since we played Chelsea last year in April.
“He’s such a top, top defender and his block from [Mateo] Kovacic is out of this world defending. He’s quick, he’s strong, brave as a lion and it’s great to have him back.”
Goals from Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire helped the Old Trafford giants close ground on a Champions League spot.
Manchester United are guests of Club Brugge in Thursday’s Europa League clash before hosting Watford three days later.