MUFC Moment: 'The best I've felt on a football pitch'
Rising midfield star Scott McTominay has admitted that his stunning goal in the recent Manchester derby gave him the best feeling he's ever experienced on a football pitch.
The 23-year-old has been at United since the age of just five and made his first-team debut in May 2017, but picked his most recent match at Old Trafford when we asked him for his favourite 'MUFC Moment'.
The Reds led Manchester City 1-0 when McTominay entered the field of play in the 78th minute as a replacement for Anthony Martial, who had scored the opener for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side during the first half.
McTominay's designated role was surely to help contain and break up the visitors' increasingly desperate attempts to find an equaliser, but when a loose throw from City goalkeeper Ederson rolled towards him, he hit a remarkable 40-yard drive into the vacant Blues' goal to make the game safe.
That sparked delirium among the 70,000-plus United fans inside the ground, and meant personal ecstasy for McTominay.
"Manchester City at home is probably the best that I've ever felt on a football pitch in my life!" the Scotland international explained.
"The feeling that you experience there, the rush of emotions going through the whole stadium, was incredible. For me, being injured for two months or three months, it was massive, that. To come back into the team and obviously try and help the boys from not starting the game, and showing the manager that you're not sulking and that you're ready to come on whenever you're needed, is so important for myself."
McTominay had missed just shy of two months' football between December and February, after damaging his knee in the 4-1 win over Newcastle United on Boxing Day.
The impressive and industrious midfielder drew praise from fans for his relatively quick return to first-team action, but admitted that his rehabilitation period had been mentally and physically testing.
"The sacrifices that I went through from being injured were massive," said the Reds' no.39. "You dedicate your whole life to coming back and being fit and sharp and ready, and almost like [a] you've never been missed sort of thing."
The goal was the Academy graduate's fifth of the season, and his second in little over a week. In his first start since the injury, against Club Brugge on 27 February, McTominay had netted a gorgeous strike from the edge of the area a few minutes before half-time.
But the moment against City – our last game at Old Trafford before the UK's COVID-19-enforced lockdown – remains foremost in his mind.
"There's a big list of feelings that I've been proud [of] after games," he noted. "Obviously making your debut, scoring your first goal – those feelings of achieving something like that is so important for a young kid who's come through the Academy, as well.
“Hopefully there's many more to come and plenty of achievements that you do relish and are very, very proud of.”