If there was one Manchester United player who didn’t deserve to be on the losing side in the Europa League final, it was Scott McTominay.
The 24-year-old was everywhere for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side and produced a commanding box-to-box midfielder display.
The Scotland international was replaced in the dying stages of extra time to allow penalty specialist Juan Mata to take a spot kick.
McTominay was everywhere against Villarreal
Playing alongside Paul Pogba, it was McTominay who drove his team on and dominated the middle of the park.
In the early stages, he picked up the ball by Marcus Rashford on the edge of the Villarreal box and dragged a shot wide, but it showed his attacking intent and willingness to get forward.
In the second half, McTominay drove through the heart of the Villarreal defence and smashed a cross hard and low into Edinson Cavani which was blocked.
United’s number 39 produced impressive numbers in several different areas (SofaScore).
The academy graduate won 15 duels, five tackles, made two clearances and one interception.
In the passing department, he completed 48 of his 58 attempted passes (83%), completed three of six attempted long balls, created two chances and provided the assist for Cavani’s equaliser.
McTominay also completed six of eight attempted dribbles in a powerful display, took three shots and drew two fouls.
Among all players on the pitch, across the 120 minutes, the Scotland international completed the most dribbles and won the most duels.
Can he replicate the performance?
Solskjaer described McTominay as the “best player on the pitch” in the Europa League final and he will hope his all-action midfielder can produce the same again tonight.
When McTominay is at his dominant best, he can turn defence into attack in an instant with his driving runs, but he can also protect the backline with his crunching tackles, positioning and sense of danger.
McTominay was star of the show in Gdansk and he will have Old Trafford bouncing if he produces a similar performance in the Champions League clash between the two sides tonight.
Let’s hope this time around a positive McTominay display is rewarded with a big United win.