Last Saturday, Man United lost to Arsenal, but Diogo Dalot, who was playing left back, came out on top.
Any fan will admit that the international break right after a Premier League loss makes it worse.
The international fixtures allow fans consider their club’s performance for longer rather than having to wait just a week, or sometimes even fewer days if competing in European competition, to make up for a loss.
For most Manchester United fans, last weekend’s loss to Arsenal was a crushing blow, and this week has dragged on even though they would have been flying high if Alejandro Garnacho’s goal hadn’t been overturned.
Garnacho thought he had sealed the victory when he scored in the 88th minute, but VAR overturned his goal and ruled it out. If the team had won at the Emirates, it would have been much easier to endure the international break.
Erik ten Hag, who usually maintains composure in news conferences, appeared agitated during the post-game press conference, but he insisted he was happy with the performance and believed United deserved to win the match.
He said to Sky Sports, “The performance from us was fine. I think we played a pretty excellent game, but the odds were against us, therefore we lost. To win the game, we required a little bit more good fortune.
“You can argue that you should hold onto your opportunities and not give in. All of this is accurate, however I approved of the performance.
All club members were disappointed by the outcome. Rasmus Hojlund’s encouraging appearance from the bench in the game’s closing 20 minutes stood out as one of the game’s few bright spots.
Hojlund, who had to wait for his debut, performed as though he was eager to get started. When he entered the game, he made himself known, and the defensive line of Arsenal was quickly troubled by his aggression.
William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes had an easy time dealing with Anthony Martial in the beginning of the match, but when Hojlund was introduced to stir up some trouble, they soon realized they were in a fight.
When the Premier League resumes, Hojlund has given fans something to look forward to, but Diogo Dalot’s effort at the Emirates was also deserved of praise and it may have gone unnoticed in the post-match investigation.
On Sunday, Dalot began at left-back and put up his greatest effort in a red shirt in more than six months. He played superb defense the entire time, and Bukayo Saka might have been discovered when he searched his pockets in the locker room.
Saka is among the best right-wingers in the world, and Dalot managed to keep him quiet. The choice to start the 24-year-old in that position was justified by the way he intercepted passes and displayed excellent positional awareness.
Dalot has always been adaptable and has prior experience playing on the opposite side, despite the fact that he is a natural right-back and loves to play there. Nevertheless, that shouldn’t detract from his impressive performance.
Due tothe current injuries to Tyrell Malacia and Luke Shaw and the deadline-day signing of Sergio Reguilon, some have speculated that the Tottenham loanee was going to make his team debut against Arsenal.
Dalot was the better option, which was made by Ten Hag. However, the full-back was under pressure to perform, and he did, which should ensure that he starts the next league match at Old Trafford against Brighton.
Famously labeling complacency a “disease,” Sir Alex Ferguson recognized that competition for positions boosted quality. When Malacia and Shaw got hurt, Dalot believed he would start at left-back, but deadline day changed that.
Dalot’s need to play at left-back due to Reguilon’s arrival may have sparked an interest in him before joining Arsenal. The Portuguese right-back must feel like he has much to prove after losing his starting position.
Even with the injuries, Dalot’s ability to replicate his Arsenal performance will ensure that left-back is not a concern over the coming weeks.