Dalot: This is the standard now

Sunday 24 September 2023 11:00

Diogo Dalot was delighted to be part of a defensive unit that kept Manchester United's first clean sheet in six games, as Burnley were beaten 1-0 in their own backyard on Saturday night.

The Portugal international and Victor Lindelof were the only two members of Erik ten Hag's back five that were at the club last season, given that goalkeeper Andre Onana arrived in the summer and was followed into Old Trafford on transfer deadline day by Jonny Evans and Sergio Reguilon.

But the recently-formed rearguard, as well as the other Reds operating in front of them, showed great resilience to keep Burnley out when they were dominating possession in the first half and to then hold firm and take control of the game in the second half, on the back of Bruno Fernandes's stunning 45th-minute winner.

"I think today was massively important," said Dalot, when speaking to MUTV's Mark Sullivan and Phil Bardsley immediately after the game.
Dalot: We have to build on this Video

Dalot: We have to build on this

Diogo Dalot hopes United's defensive resilience against Burnley is a sign of things to come...

"Apart from the three points, I think the clean sheet brings us a little bit of extra confidence to go to the next games.

"We needed it after these last couple of games when we conceded a lot of goals and this has to build a foundation now for the next game.

"I think today we showed a proper compact team, aggressively defending the box, everybody [supporting] each other.

"Collectively we were very good. Everybody was speaking with each other, communication, aggressive on the front foot. And I think that brings you confidence when you look to your mate and he's giving everything for you. You want to give everything for him as well. Today we came out to the pitch with that mentality.

"I think this is the standard that we need to have for the rest of the season."
Dalot admitted there had been something of a siege mentality within the squad after a period of intense media scrutiny, following the three consecutive defeats to Arsenal, Brighton & Hove Albion and Bayern Munich.

"We are playing for Manchester United and we have to be consistent in every game," said Diogo.

"They [the media] will kill you in every direction if you don’t win games. And you could see in these last couple of weeks, it was another killing machine against us. But we fought hard.

"When we get into Carrington, the noise stays outside and we work hard. And I think we were rewarded today with these three points. But we want to keep going."
Ten Hag: Our spirit was fabulous Video

Ten Hag: Our spirit was fabulous

Erik ten Hag praises his side's determination, after United defeated Burnley at Turf Moor...

While defending and keeping that precious clean sheet was naturally the primary function for Dalot and co, he also enjoyed opportunities to push up the right wing, thanks to his compatriot Bruno Fernandes tucking inside from right midfield.

"I think it's one of the advantages to play with Bruno on the line. Without the ball he is so, so clever when he has to press, when he has to drop, when he has to help the fullback and when he has to help the midfielders," praised Diogo.

"With the ball, we bring him inside to build a little square in the middle. This creates a little bit of confusion for the opposition full-back, to know if he's going to jump or if he stays with me. I think it was a good way of playing and I think it was rewarded with his goal.

"The movement that he did, and the pass from Jonny, I think it was a great goal to see and I'm happy with the performance."