The first half performance against Fulham was one to cherish for Manchester United indeed.
The Red Devils strolled to a three goal lead before half time, which in itself has been a rare sight this season given that they’ve struggled a lot to break teams down in the first half.
Romelu Lukaku, a striker under fire desperate to get back to his best, finally scored his goal at Old Trafford. This came after a flowing move, with him stroking past the keeper with relatively no obstruction.
Even though it was a day for the forwards, there’s no doubt about the man in the spotlight: 19 year old Diogo Dalot seems to have won over the United boss and fans alike, after his Man of the Match performance against Fulham.
In a team which has been lacking goals and creativity, his introduction seems to be the much needed shot of enthusiasm and passion.
When a forward like Lukaku doesn’t score, some of the criticism is also aimed at the supply line. One can make a case against the Belgian international that he should finish off more chances, but the quality of these chances matter.
With Dalot supplying quality crosses every time he gets the chance, Lukaku finally might’ve breathed a sigh of relief for he would be expecting a flurry of chances coming down from the right hand side.
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In the second half alone, he made the chances which should have seen United score more than 6, with Lukaku and Marcus Rashford both getting opportunities.
With Paul Pogba benched for the United game, it might’ve seemed like a bold move as the side would have been expected to lack creativity. But Dalot single-handedly managed to provide much-needed creativity in the form of his crosses.
Many might suggest that José Mourinho might’ve been a little too quick to brand him as the next Gary Neville, but his performances speak for themselves; he has only improved every consecutive game.
Lukaku seemed more mature compared to his previous outings this season. He was a lot calmer and composed while linking up play, as he did for United’s second goal which saw Juan Mata double United’s lead.
In October it was Anthony Martial who saved Mourinho from the mid-season sack. Now it looks like Dalot might’ve delayed it till the end of the season.
This is all the Portuguese manager needs to build up for next week’s clash against Liverpool. He desperately needs to win over some criticism that has been aimed at him, with the final CL game on Wednesday yet to be played.
This might not be his greatest week in terms of fixtures, but it surely is in terms of building momentum. The future of United seems to be helmed by these rays of hope.