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Rio Ferdinand praises “magnificent” Willy Kambwala for brave performance vs. Liverpool – Man United News And Transfer News

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has lauded Willy Kambwala for his strong performance against Liverpool on Sunday.

United salvaged a crucial point at Old Trafford vs. their bitter rivals on Sunday.

The Red Devils’ goals were scored by Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo. Beyond the two stars who found the back of the net, another player who caught the eye was Kambwala.

Amidst United’s injury crisis in the defensive department, the young Frenchman was thrust into the action against Jurgen Klopp’s men as he slotted next to Harry Maguire. The pair formed a formidable partnership and were solid for large parts of the game.

Kambwala registered three clearances, two interceptions and one tackle. He also won 100% of his duels and completed 29 passes.

The 19-year-old demonstrated a mature and resilient side of his play, well beyond his age. On more than one occasion, he was spotted pumping up the Old Trafford crowd and appealing for more noise to spur the team.

Speaking on the FIVE podcast, Ferdinand singled out Kambwala for praise. The six-time Premier League winner said, “Some good performances in there. Harry Maguire and Willy at centre-half, two brilliant performances.”

“I thought even though we did give up a lot of chances, the reason was we were so easy to play through. Our midfield defensively, in transition especially weren’t there to slow Liverpool down at all, which meant the defenders had to play well. [Diogo] Dalot I thought was exceptional at times as well.”

“But Willy, for a young centre-back in a game with a real fiery atmosphere – loads riding on the game as well after the way we played against Chelsea – for him to come in and put in a performance like that, I thought he was magnificent.”

“What I liked about him he was he was making the tackle, getting up, getting the crowd involved, the emotion. You could see he understood, I really liked [it]. When asked for his player of the match, Ferdinand added, “100 per cent Kambwala. Done his thing, full of passion.”

Ferdinand agreed with the general consensus that United were very fortunate to get a result against Liverpool, who fashioned so many clear-cut opportunities but were thwarted by some heroics from Andre Onana.

The former England international admitted that before the match, he would have gladly taken a draw as he didn’t believe United would have enough to get something.

He however took issue with United’s imbalance in the midfield once more. Ferdinand said that Casemiro in particular looked exposed for most of the game.

“At least United showed a bit of character. There was plenty of character but there was never a time when we looked in control.”

“There’s huge spaces on the pitch whenever United play at the moment. I don’t care who you are – you look at Casemiro, he’s hugely experienced and won everything – but even he at times today looked open and exposed because the gaps between the midfielders is so big.”

“I don’t think it matters who you are, it would be so difficult to look a good player in that midfield. We look like a drunk fighter on his last legs.”

For Ten Hag and his players, all attention shifts towards the upcoming away trip to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday to take on Bournemouth.

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