Manchester United’s supporters ridiculously booed, threw rubbish, and verbally abused Paris Saint-Germain forward Angel Di Maria throughout Tuesday night’s Champions League last-16 first leg match. But why? What was the source of such anger toward the PSG star?
Angel Di Maria and Manchester United
The Argentine spent one season at Old Trafford from 2014 to 2015 under the management of Louis van Gaal. Di Maria played 32 times for the Red Devils contributing four goals and 12 assists in all competitions.
Looking back on his stats, there is nothing wrong with his return, except for the £59.7 million transfer fee Manchester United paid Real Madrid for Di Maria and the unrealistic expectations placed on him.
The forward was called the Premier League’s worst signing in 2014-15, but rather than let Di Maria bed-in for another season, he was shipped off to PSG.
Van Gaal’s reign as Manchester United manager is widely seen as a poor time for the club. Therefore, the fans’ animosity toward Di Maria seems strange.
Would they feel the same anger toward the Red Devils’ current stars who routinely failed under Jose Mourinho? Would Mourinho be booed with venom upon a return to the Old Trafford dugout?
How does Angel Di Maria stack up against Manchester United’s current squad?
Di Maria’s 11 Premier League assists from 2014-15 are still better than any Manchester United player currently in the team this term.
Midfielder Paul Pogba has recorded eight in 23 Premier League matches. The next best is Marcus Rashford’s six.
Look at the 2015-16 season following Di Maria’s departure. Manchester United’s leading assist player was Wayne Rooney with six.
Di Maria wasn’t the problem at Manchester United, it was Van Gaal and his tactics that set back the Red Devils.
The PSG star has reportedly escaped punishment for swearing at Manchester United fans following the abuse he took throughout the night.
Di Maria won’t be banned for the second leg against Manchester United. However, Red Devils midfielder Paul Pogba will be for his 89th-minute red card.
Perhaps Manchester United supporters should save their venom for Pogba after his poor performance and red card.