Forget Bruno, Bailly’s dive proved he’s still Man Utd’s most entertaining player
Harry Maguire scored Manchester United’s winner in a drab victory over Norwich City – but it was his centre-back partner who stole the show.
Eric Bailly made his first start since football’s resumption in England and was given a rare opportunity to partner Maguire at the heart of their defence.
While most defenders would happily go under the radar and keep things simple on their return to action, that’s just not in his nature.
United were less than five minutes into their FA Cup quarter-final tie at Carrow Road when Bailly had his moment in the spotlight.
The centre-back was shielding the ball deep inside his own half as it rolled out of play when Kenny McLean did a light shove into his back.
Upon feeling the contact, Bailly propelled himself into the air like a salmon before falling to the floor in comical fashion.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) June 27, 2020
The Tokyo Olympics may have been postponed until 2021 but Bailly made up for the lack of action with a dive befitting of a gold medal.
Diving is often regarded as a terrible crime, but even football purists would have found it difficult not to laugh at the defender’s dramatic and completely unnecessary dive.
He was actually successful in his attempts to win a free-kick, but it was just another example of Bailly’s unconventional and eccentric character.
The Ivory Coast international has already produced a stepover inside his own box against Chelsea earlier this season and is always finding new ways to surprise us.
United have some world-class footballers at their disposal but the centre-back might just be the most entertaining player in their squad.
Everybody knows that Paul Pogba can pick out a sensational pass and Bruno Fernandes can score from distance so it’s hardly a surprise when they pull it off with ease.
But nobody knows what to expect from Bailly when he steps out onto the pitch, and that unpredictability makes him so much more exciting than a steady and reliable defender.
His on-field theatrics have fans on the edge of their seats – and we can’t wait to see what else the showman has up his sleeve.