Axel Tuanzebe shone out of position at right back as Manchester United sealed a spot in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.
It was only his third start of the season and his first since the embarrassing 2-1 Champions League defeat against Istanbul Basaksehir in November.
That loss looked like it would be costly at the time and so it proved, with United crashing out of the Champions League weeks later.
Tuanzebe spoke to the club’s website after last night’s win at Goodison Park and referenced the European exit twice, making it clear that it’s still a source of frustration for the squad.
“We’re very frustrated about the Champions League still and we want to come out with some silverware,” said Tuanzebe.
“It’s been a couple of years since we’ve won anything and we want to win something this year.
“The team spirit has been massive, especially since we got knocked out of the Champions League.
The lads have come together and everyone is ready to play a part.”
The 3-2 defeat in Leipzig was incredibly frustrating for the fans, and it seems to be driving the players on now.
It’s clear they haven’t just forgotten about it and Tuanzebe suggested it has galvanised the dressing room.
United are unbeaten in four games since their Champions League exit.
A drab 0-0 draw with Manchester City steadied the ship in the very next game.
United scored 11 goals in the next three matches, climbing to third in the Premier League as well as ensuring EFL Cup progress.
A win over Leicester on Boxing Day would put United second. That would represent the best possible response to the body-blow of going out of the Champions League.
- Edinson Cavani’s fitness problems are becoming a little concerning
- Charlie McNeill continues to make a name for himself with another winning goal
- Former United talent Largie Ramazani scores goal from his own half
- Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani react to Manchester United win
- Dean Henderson has now kept five clean sheets in a row
- Fernandes sends message to Dalot after first league goal for Milan
- Mike Phelan reacts to United’s derby win
- United loanee Tahith Chong provides assist in Club Brugge win
- Harry Maguire raves about Luke Shaw’s performance