Diogo Dalot made his first Premier League start since 2019 when he featured against Arsenal last week. He did well enough to retain his place for the visit of Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Even with Aaron Wan-Bissaka back from the injury which kept him out of the squad against the Gunners, Dalot was chosen for a second successive start.
Dalot had a big responsibility, tasked with trying to keep Wilfried Zaha quiet, a player who scored on his last visit to Old Trafford.
The Portuguese full-back did exceptionally well, helping United to keep a rare clean sheet, the first at Old Trafford this season.
Much needed competition
Dalot came close to scoring at the end of the first half when his curled effort went just over the bar. He did play a vital role in United’s winner.
His run down the right created space for Mason Greenwood to turn and pass the ball back into Fred, who curled the ball into the back of the net for a vital goal.
Dalot needed these last two games. He has not had a proper chance under Solskjaer, and despite Aaron Wan-Bissaka having strong attributes, he also has clear weaknesses, and has not been able to kick on.
It has always been near-impossible for Dalot to come in for the odd game and impress. It’s hard to play really well when you have had weeks on the sidelines. Solskjaer managed the squad badly and Dalot was one of the losers from this.
Long-term, Wan-Bissaka may prove the better option, or youngster Ethan Laird may turn out to be a better challenger than Dalot.
But for now, the ball is in Dalot’s court, and he deserves to retain his place for the game against Norwich next Saturday night.
Wan-Bissaka may get a chance if the team is rotated against Young Boys. If he does, it will be interesting to see if Dalot’s resurgence brings about an uptick in his performance.
With a new manager to impress, every player has a fresh start, and Dalot needed it more than most. He is making the most of it so far.
Here is a look at how Manchester United fans reacted to Dalot’s performance against Crystal Palace…
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