December 26, 2019
4 Milinkovic-Savic is a strong aerial threat but only won four out of eight duels in the air against Costa Rica. He was not the match-winner, that honour went to ex-Manchester City star Aleksandar Kolarov, who netted a stunning free-kick.Most watching will have enjoyed the performance of Milinkovic-Savic, who played just behind Newcastle United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.With all the intense scrutiny on his performance, talkSPORT.com took a look at the 23-year-old and how his display may help or hinder any possible transfer to Old Trafford.Milinkovic-Savic actually didn’t see any of the ball in the opening five minutes of the match but drifted between the Costa Rican lines and toward whichever full-back had the ball in the midfield area. Once the ball was in the final third, though, he occupied a central role, alongside Mitrovic as they looked to dominate their opponents in the air.When he did get on the ball after about six minutes he was quick to drive forward on the front-foot, dribbling past defenders before moving the ball out wide. Whenever either Aleksandar Kolarov or Branislav Ivanovic got into crossing positions, even from just beyond the halfway line, he surged towards the box in an attempt to get close to Mitrovic as Serbia attempted to go direct against their smaller opponents, which Man United boss Jose Mourinho may like as he seeks support for Romelu Lukaku from deep. A mark against him though is that despite his threat he only won four of eight offensive headers.Opposite number David Guzman attempted to tightly mark the 23-year-old but using his guile he was able get away with both his pace and skill and drifted off his radar with some fine movements.Off the ball he did well to cover Guzman, causing Costa Rica to attempt riskier forward passes, which didn’t pay off too often, and if the ball-player opted to not use Guzman, Milinkovic-Savic pressed to force errors and turnovers in possession, indeed the player completed two tackles and two block, but also gave away four fouls although all were in the Costa Rica half.At defensive set-pieces, Milinkovic-Savic showed excellent awareness and was able to react quickly to Costa Rica’s tricky routines. On one occasion, despite initially losing Giancarlo Gonzalez, he swiftly move to the goal-line when the ball was sent to the back-post and his man headed over. Manchester United target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was on show for Serbia in their 1-0 win over Costa Rica. 4 4 Overall, Milinkovic-Savic certainly caught the eye with his movement and his presence in the final third. His creativity, close control, and dribbling make him a real threat, along with his aerial ability, but he was let down with decision making and his pass selection in the end which could be costly with Lazio wanting big money for their superstar.talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network. Lazio midfielder leaves Costa Rica defender Johnny Acosta for dead as he dribbles towards goal. 4 Smart one-touch passes helped ball progression in tight situations, and his positional awareness were certainly highlights but there were poor decisions too and by completing just 66 per cent of his passes he won’t have done himself too many favours.His tendency to drift towards the right will also be of note to any Manchester United scouts watch. With possible new team-mate Paul Pogba preferring a position on the left of a three-man midfield it would be interesting to see whether Milinkovic-Savic would be afforded the same role with the Frenchman dropping into a two-man role with Nemanja Matic behind him.It seems unlikely Mourinho would allow both stars to operate together further forward and leave Matic, or incoming Red Devil Fred, alone in front of their backline in too many games.In terms of shooting, the Serbia star, with 27 minutes gone, almost broke the deadlock but a offside flag spared his blushes when an excellent touch was followed by a tame shot straight at Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas from 12 yards.An outrageous overhead kick, belying his 6ft 4in frame, got the crowd on its feet but a fine Navas save once again denied him, while a poor long-range attempt was a blot on his copy book with 75 minutes on the clock.Linking with his forwards, Milinkovic-Savic had some decent moments and almost grabbed an assist early in the second period with a delicate pass to Mitrovic but the Newcastle striker couldn’t beat Navas, before a superb chest-down to Mitrovic almost led to a goal for Filip Kostic. An acrobatic shot from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic almost produced a goal for Serbia. Manchester United transfer target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was one of the stars of the show as Serbia beat Costa Rica 1-0 at World Cup 2018.The Red Devils have been heavily linked with the Lazio sensation over the last six months, and he didn’t do too much wrong in a decent all-round display.