Football is much more fun when Eric Bailly is playing.

The Ivorian started for Manchester United for the first time since March when the team faced Roma in the semi-finals.

He set the tone for a bizarre 45th-minute opening when he accidentally beat former United team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

(Photo by Tullio Puglia – UEFA / UEFA via Getty Images)

Bailly was at the heart of everything on the defensive, making clever tackles and blockades while giving the ball away.

There was a strange moment when he galloped unchallenged into the final third and thought about shooting before dumping the ball with a real defender’s pass. Roma rose on the other end and almost hit.

Bailly had a quick shot after another set piece that was blocked.

One man who didn’t like playing against him was Roma striker Edin Dzeko.

(Photo by Tullio Puglia – UEFA / UEFA via Getty Images)

Bailly faced and outperformed Dzeko physically, and the Bosnian didn’t score until the second half when he managed to switch between Bailly and Harry Maguire.

And that sums up the puzzle for United. Bailly is a great player but he doesn’t have the understanding of Maguire what teammate Victor Lindelof is doing.

Bailly was entertaining to watch, but maybe it wasn’t that much if this was the first leg.

United needed calm and security in the second half and the team wobbled. Bailly and Maguire looked like a partnership that hadn’t played together in a few weeks.


Bailly will be more involved in the rotation over the next few weeks to deal with the upcoming fixture list.

This was a game to get a grip on his system and he will be better off making the minutes. However, it wasn’t the compelling performance he would have wished for if he was trying to convince Solskjaer to select him later in the final this month.


Here’s a look at how United fans reacted to Bailly’s performance …

Can we all agree that Eric Bailly was the undisputed highlight of the game? 😂😂😭

– Kristian Moe (@KristianJMoe) May 6, 2021

I love watching Bailly do his stuff. Skills, calm self-confidence

– Anthony Hoarty (@ anthoart1962) May 6, 2021

Always happy to see Eric Bailly 😂😂

– † (@AlazkaBoi) May 6, 2021

This Eric Bailly recklessness masterclass is something else! 🤣

– Nick (@MithaiUtd) May 6, 2021

So much Eric Bailly gold tonight

– Nathan (@nhdoom_) May 6, 2021

Bailly is just too confident and lithe with the ball. Enjoy every minute of watching it

– Sodje (@OgaSodje), May 6, 2021

Bailly is like a roller coaster, sometimes you have to close your eyes 🙂

– MerlinUnited (@MerlinUnited) May 6, 2021

Eric Bailly is quality

– aoife (@_aoifemurtagh) May 6, 2021

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