Phil Jones' performance against Wolves praised by Ferdinand and fans

Phil Jones’ performance in Man United’s defeat by Wolves is hailed as ‘class’ by Rio Ferdinand, who also says defender deserves credit for impressing in first game in two years – while fans praise his comeback

  • Manchester United’s top four hopes were dented by their defeat against Wolves 
  • Phil Jones was handed a surprise start in the clash but impressed at the back 
  • Rio Ferdinand believes the defender was ‘class’ on his return to the first-team 
  • Twitter users have hailed him, with some saying he’s better than Harry Maguire 

Phil Jones’ comeback performance for Manchester United in their limp defeat by Wolves last night has been hailed by Rio Ferdinand, and on social media.

Centre back Jones was handed a surprise start for the clash at Old Trafford, his first first-team appearance in almost two years, but delivered an assured display. 

Boss Ralf Rangnick ultimately suffered his first loss in charge, however, after Joao Moutinho steered a low shot into the far corner late on to stun the struggling hosts.

Phil Jones’ performance in Manchester United’s defeat by Wolves has been widely praised

But the performance from Jones has been lauded as a rare positive for United, with Ferdinand – a former club stalwart – singling out his high standard. 

‘For someone to come in from the cold like that, you have to tip your hat to someone like that,’ Ferdinand said on Five, his official YouTube channel.

‘They’re playing him maybe to put him in the shop window, first and foremost, but if he plays well enough the manager might change his mind. That can happen in football very quickly.

Jones was handed a surprise start with United hit by injuries at the back, and looked assured

Ferdinand, a former United centre back, said Jones was ‘class for large periods’ of the clash

‘I’m just pleased he got through the game unscathed, no injuries. He put in a decent performance after such a long time out, not easy to do. So you’ve got to tilt your hat to Phil Jones.

‘He’s come in for a lot of stick, a lot of my words have been misinterpreted a little bit. 

‘But you’ve got to say, “well done” in terms of the amount of time he’s been off the pitch, to come in and play in the Premier League and play at the standard he did today.

‘Albeit, his header was the one that fell to Moutinho’s foot before he scored but I thought he was class for long periods in the game.’

Jones threw himself at several shots, and fans on social media have also heaped praise on him

The only blot on Jones’ copy book was his role in Wolves’ winner. 

United were unable to clear a cross swung in from the right, with the returning defender only able to head as far as Moutinho, who neatly fired home the winner.

But even that didn’t prevent social media users from waxing lyrical about him, with many of them even claiming he is better than club captain Harry Maguire.

One account said: ‘I feel more confident with Jones than Maguire. Anyone else?’ 

‘Phil Jones with a better performance than anything I’ve seen from Maguire this season,’ a second posted. ‘I’m being deadly serious as well.’

A third added: ‘This Phil Jones performance, when you add in the context he hasn’t played in the Premier League for two years, or any consistent football for 3+, is absolutely incredible.’

Meanwhile, a fourth wrote: ‘Always said that Maguire is our 4th best CB behind [Raphael] Varane, [Eric] Bailly & [Victor] Lindelof.

‘I have to admit that I was wrong, he’s behind Jones as well & that’s simply because [Axel] Tuanzebe is on loan otherwise he would be 6th.’

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