Diogo Dalot

Dalot: These are the defenders' little goals

Thursday 01 September 2022 06:00

Diogo Dalot says keeping clean sheets and preventing our opponents from finding the net is like scoring a goal for Manchester United’s defenders.

Hard-fought wins over Liverpool and Southampton have seen our back four shine following a difficult start to the season defensively.

Dalot, along with Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia, has visibly relished putting in the blocks and challenges, with high-fives, pats on the backs and celebrations between the defenders and goalkeeper David De Gea following each attack that is successfully repelled.

The scenes have brought to mind the way in which legendary Juventus and Italy pair Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini went about their defensive work and the 23-year-old /believes it’s a good way for the backline – no matter who the personnel is – to support each other.

Dalot: This is the best time to be a player Video

Dalot: This is the best time to be a player

Diogo Dalot talks defending, assisting and building momentum ahead of a busy autumn for United...

“I think it’s something that comes naturally from each other, from every player,” Dalot told club media.

“Us defenders, we don’t score goals too often, so these are our little goals during the 90 minutes, every time we stop the opponents coming into our goal and our box. I think this is the way it should be.

“This is the goal for us so we will celebrate and I think it’s something that came completely naturally from us.

“I hope it continues so we can give support to each other and I think it’s a good way to do it.”

At the other end of the pitch, Dalot registered his first assist of the campaign at St Mary’s on Saturday, as his measured and accurate cross picked out Bruno Fernandes to superbly volley home.

Although Diogo was keen to attribute some of the credit for the assist to the runs made by those around him, he acknowledged that it’s an area of his game he’s looking to improve.

“I always say that behind a good assist it’s always good movement behind it as well,” he added. “I think Rashy [Marcus Rashford] does the movement to the first post to attract the player that brings Bruno free.

90 in 20: Southampton v United Video

90 in 20: Southampton v United

Watch the extended highlights from Saturday's lunchtime trip to St Mary's...

“Jadon [Sancho] came inside, and then came again to give me the ball, so it’s always a good dynamic between each other and a team goal, I think, is the description of that goal.

“I mean, I have that ability [to create and assist] so I will try to give more and to give that part to the team but I think it will come naturally.

“It’s something that I’m not completely obsessed with but it’s in my head and then I think I have the ability to do it and I put myself in that high standard to give that to the team. It went well last game and hopefully it will for the upcoming games as well.”