Nani's Performance Last Night Proves He Is Good Enough for United's First XI

Simon Edmonds@@Eddie_EdmondsCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Nani of Manchester United beats Ivan Ramis of Wigan Athletic during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford on September 15, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Luis Nani is not a player that most Manchester United fans will think of immediately in regard to regular first-team selection for the Red Devils.

His performances have on more than one occasion sunk the collective heads of fans at Old Trafford into their hands in an attempt to shield their eyes from the pain of watching him play.

However, every now and then Nani has one of those games that reminds us all exactly why Fergie signed him from Sporting all the way back in 2007.

It would be easy to criticise the Portuguese man off the back of United’s somewhat lacklustre Champions Lperformance at home to Galatasaray last night. After all, Nani missed a crucial penalty which could have seen his side go 2-0 ahead with just 15 minutes left in the game.

Luckily in the end it turned out that the miss didn’t mean much—although United fans will not be happy to see a third consecutive penalty missed in as many games—and if anything Nani’s reaction to the miss was nothing short of inspiring.

We saw a very similar incident a few weeks back when Robin van Persie missed from the spot against Southampton, only to come back and score two goals to bring the points back to Old Trafford.

Nani didn’t score after the incident but what he did was (for him) so much better.

The main complaint most United fans have with Nani’s performances for the club are the ridiculous amount of shots he takes on when a pass is far and away the better option.

As soon as that penalty was saved by the Turkish side’s keeper I was sure that this would be the case once again from Mr. Nani.

However, rather than erratically taking pop-shots from long range, the United winger kept his wits about him and played some beautiful link-up play with both Shinji Kagawa and later Javier Hernandez.

In truth the United forwards let the side down a bit with their poor touches and seeming inability to shoot in front of goal. On more than one occasion Nani’s build-up play with the Japanese international was a feast for the eyes, and it’s criminal that United didn’t put away more chances.

It’s been quite a while since I was as impressed with an outing from the left-sided winger as I was last night.

Hopefully if he keeps this kind of form up in the league (Don’t hold your breath, consistency and Nani are not words that usually go together in the same sentence—at least not in a positive way) then United’s “weak” left side may just be about to get a little stronger.

Follow me on Twitter @Eddie_Edmonds