For some players, it only takes one goal to change the course of their season. Four strikes into Radamel Falcao’s temporary career at Manchester United, the Colombian is still waiting for that shift in fortunes.
Luckily for the on-loan Monaco man, the perfect game to alter the perception of his time as a Red Devil has arrived.
The Manchester derby is a game that shapes men. Mario Balotelli had his most famous moment in England during one, Wayne Rooney scored arguably his best ever United goal in another and Michael Owen’s commentary career is, some say, built on his 2009 90th-minute winner.
So as Louis van Gaal sits down to ponder team selection for the game his troops are 6/4 to win, including Falcao at some point has to come under serious consideration.
The one-time Atletico Madrid man has a favourable record when it comes goal scoring against his side’s biggest rivals, as our graphic below indicates:
An overall haul of a goal every other game certainly bodes well for his mettle in the big occasion, making the 6/1 on him scoring the first goal, or 9/4 about an anytime strike, two of the more appealing potential investments for the occasion.
Happily for Van Gaal and Man United fans, Falcao’s unflinching poise in front of goal when the heat is on hasn’t waned with the creaking of time.
He had a 100% record against Paris Saint-Germain in his limited time with Monaco and boasted respectable figures when lining up against Real Madrid and Benfica as a respective Atletico Madrid and Porto player.
Having missed the opportunity to prove his dead-eye accuracy when the two rivals clashed earlier in the season, the 29-year-old will relish the chance at keeping up appearances should Van Gaal afford him some game time when battle lines are drawn at Old Trafford this weekend.