Diogo Dalot could have been Manchester United's match-winner with more confidence

Manchester United can be proud of their efforts against Barcelona.

The Red Devils may have slipped to a 1-0 defeat but there is all to play for in the Champions League quarter-final second leg.

Yet things could have been much better if the youngest United player on the field had more confidence in his ability.

Diogo Dalot missed United’s best chance of the game. Most fans were already celebrating as the teenager rose at the far post only to head his chance across goal rather than in. But it was more than that.

The 20-year-old has the pace and the delivery to cause major problems to Europe’s best defences.  So he could have run Barca’s ragged.

(Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

On occasions he was tasked with offering additional support in defence. 

And he did that side of things admirably.

But further forward he failed to kick and run or deliver the crosses United’s front men were crying out for.

We know what Dalot can do, and the occasion was clearly the biggest of his fledgling career. 

It is only a shame he did not have a bit more belief on the night.

The opponents didn’t matter.

The £19million signing (BBC) could have caused the visitors no end of problems. 

And he will be hoping to do just that in the second leg, albeit in Shaw’s enforced absence.

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Vincent is the Senior Managing Editor of Freshered. He was previously Head of Sixth Form at a secondary school in Kent, where he worked with hundreds of 16 to 19-year-olds over eight years.