How Dalot played through the pain
Diogo Dalot returned to the Manchester United starting line-up on Monday, playing the full 90 minutes as the Reds progressed to the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup by beating Aston Villa.
The 22-year-old had a solid game at right-back and Diogo’s performance is even more noteworthy when you consider he had to play the majority of the game with a nasty-looking ankle wound.
Dalot collided with Villa’s Emiliano Buendia in the United box after around 32 minutes of Monday’s 1-0 win, in an incident which seemed innocuous at first.
Indeed, Diogo initially played on before the ball was eventually cleared for a Villa corner and he then sank to the turf before calling for treatment, which resulted in a stoppage of around four minutes.
The club’s physios quickly attended to our stricken defender, applying bandages to a foot which was visibly bleeding.
With Aaron Wan-Bissaka warming up and then getting stripped off on the touchline, it looked as though Ralf Rangnick would be forced into making his first substitution of the tie.
However, after being patched up, Diogo opted to carry on and it was a credit to him that he saw out the game, helping United keep a first clean sheet in a month, despite sustained Villa pressure after the half-time break.
The extent of Dalot’s injury was then made clear by a graphic photo posted on social media after the final whistle, which pointed out that our no.20 had required stitches in his ankle.
Diogo brushed off the extent of the damage in his own post on Tuesday morning, saying: “Thank you for the messages. It’s all good now with the help of the Doctor. Onto the next one! Good image for those who like anatomy.”
Warning: Graphic image below
Dalot has caught the eye in recent weeks, particularly since Rangnick took over as interim manager.
The Portuguese full-back, who never shirks a challenge, has started five of our last eight games in all competitions and this act of bravery should further endear him to supporters.
“Drive forward, have the ball and try to serve the forward players, and, of course, defend well,” he said, when explaining his role to club media last week.
“Keep solid at the back and be physical and be aggressive – that’s my job as a full-back.”
Diogo certainly showed that last night and we hope he’s fit and ready to face Villa again, this time in the Midlands, on Saturday.