With one sweep of the boot, Scott McTominay stroked the ball into the bottom corner of the net and released two months of frustration.
The young midfielder was in the best form of his fledgling career when he suffered a knee injury in December and his absence has left the midfield stretched at times.
Getting him back is a major boost and it was a good sign of confidence in his fitness from the coaching staff that he was permitted to start against Club Brugge.
McTominay marked his return with a goal, his fourth of the season. It was sweetly struck after excellent work from Fred to find him with the pass.
He ran off to the corner, sliding on his knees, roaring with passion to show supporters what the moment meant to him.
Good to have him back
McTominay may be back on the bench at the weekend with Nemanja Matic rested, and it’s important United manage him sensibly after his return from a two-month lay-off.
It’s just great to have the option, and when the team attack like this, McTominay is more of an asset than Matic.
Defensively there were moments early on when Brugge attacked and McTominay was slow to cover the runner. This could have just been down to rust, but Matic’s defensive nous has been key to United’s run of clean sheets and United have to be careful about upsetting the balance of the team.
It might be that McTominay switches in for Fred more, to give him a rare rest.
In possession he was excellent and last night the 23-year-old played 71 minutes and touching the ball 78 times, helping United to control the game.
He completed 93 per cent of his passes and created one chance in the process. He also made one tackle and two interceptions.
This was a night where it was all about minutes for McTominay, but he gave us so much more.
Seeing him back on the scoresheet was a delight, and it felt like he had never been away.
Fans praise McTominay’s performance
Rio Ferdinand led the praise for McTominay, sending a message out after he scored.
His sentiments were shared by supporters who also expressed similar delight at seeing Scott the Scot back at Old Trafford.
Some even compared the way the passed the ball into the net from range to Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos…
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