Despite Joao Cancelo’s starring performance for City in the derby, Portugal felt Diogo Dalot was a better option for them last night.
The Manchester United full-back was selected at left-back ahead of Cancelo in a surprise choice from manager Fernando Santos.
Left-back is a role Dalot has played before, for both United and AC Milan last season.
This season Dalot has not featured much, last starting in United’s narrow in over Villarreal in September, where he did not have the best of performances.
He has played just 28 minutes since, as a substitute in United’s 5-0 home mauling by Liverpool.
A chance to impress
Considering his lack of game time at United, Dalot was fortunate simply to be called up by Portugal, let alone to start.
So this was an important chance for him to impress in a World Cup qualifier away at Ireland.
Dalot was playing as part of a flat back four and while there were a couple of moments where Ireland’s pacy forward Chiedozie Ogbene asked questions of him, he coped fairly well.
His defensive task was made more complicated in the 81st minute when Pepe was sent off for a second booking.
Notably Dalot was able to keep a clean sheet as the game ended 0-0. He made an important headed clearance in injury time as Ireland put a cross in.
In the final minutes Dalot had to defend against former United trainee Will Keane, who came off the bench to make his Ireland debut.
Dalot tried to get forward where he could and created two chances, one more than Bruno Fernandes who was substituted after 74 minutes after a disappointing performance.
Here is a look at how United fan reacted to Dalot’s performance in the draw…
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