United's full-back connection

Friday 21 October 2022 08:00

The defensive partnership of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez, the midfield duo of Casemiro and Fred, and the dynamic performance of Bruno Fernandes all caught the eye in our 2-0 home win over Tottenham on Wednesday, but two players who have perhaps gone under the radar are Reds full-backs Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw.

Dalot’s display against the north Londoners was lauded by Patrice Evra on Amazon Prime Video’s coverage of the Premier League match, with the Frenchman naming him as his Man of the Match, but many other members of our starting XI have garnered more acclaim in the aftermath of the important win than our full-backs.

Both Dalot and Shaw were instrumental in the way Erik ten Hag wanted his side to play against Spurs, and affected the game at both ends of the pitch.

Not only that, but both players married tough tackling with composure on the ball, allowing the Reds to regain – and retain – possession to keep the pressure on the visitors throughout.

Watch Luke Shaw go close with a volley from Diogo Dalot's deep cross.

Determined Dalot

Our Portuguese right-back has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of Ten Hag’s management, and he continues to develop with every passing week.

Once again, Dalot looked assured defensively, snuffing out any attempts from a couple of danger-men in Heung-min Son and Ivan Perisic to run at him.

Dalot also offered a threat going forward, as he often does, pegging Spurs’s wing-backs in their own half to allow United to produce wave after wave of attacks.

On occasion, the 23-year-old found Shaw at the back post, with the left-back providing the same attacking outlet on the opposite side of the pitch.

Luke has his ‘bite’ back

Both Shaw and Dalot combined on a number of occasions as the Reds suffocated Spurs and limited the opportunities the visitors had to get out of their own half.

Part of this was Shaw’s superb anticipation to time his tackles to perfection and instantly press the opponents at every opportunity.

In the second half, there was one moment that stood out, which confirmed that Shaw had rediscovered his ‘bite.’

'Listen to Old Trafford roar!' Video

'Listen to Old Trafford roar!'

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Just as Spurs looked to break, across came the England international with a full-blooded – but fair - sliding challenge which halted Matt Doherty in his tracks.

The Old Trafford crowd roared as if a goal had been scored, and throughout the entire night, Luke appeared to respond to the buzzing atmosphere inside the Theatre of Dreams.

Following Tyrell Malacia’s summer arrival, Shaw looks to have been spurred on by the added competition, and now looks to be back to – or nearing – his best, even forcing a fine save out of Hugo Lloris with a textbook volley from a deep cross by Dalot.


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