Raw but talented Diogo Dalot's a winner as Man United beat Fulham 4-1

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Manchester United enjoyed a comprehensive 4-1 win over Fulham at Old Trafford in the Premier League.

Ashley Young broke the deadlock in the 13th minute with a stunning strike before Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku struck to take a 3-0 lead into the break.

Fulham pulled one back when Aboubakar Kamara converted from the spot before Marcus Rashford added a fourth.

Here are a few talking points from the encounter.

RAW TALENT

Whisper it, but United may have a dynamic, attacking right-back who can cross the ball.

One of the biggest positives Mourinho will take from this display is undoubtedly the display of Diogo Dalot. The Portuguese summer signing enjoyed several forays down the right flank and was arguably United’s greatest creative force on the day.

With Juan Mata tucking in, Dalot had the freedom of the right side to exploit and did so effectively, providing plenty of width for the hosts. He also did a good job defensively although he’s far from the finished article. He did have a couple of nervous moments at the back, particularly when he scuffed a routine clearance which instead fell kindly to Andre Schurrle on the edge of the box.

Nevertheless, the 19-year-old is certainly a raw talent worth nurturing. And speaking of raw talents, will Rashford ever be more than just that?

The Mancunian was a relentless runner against Fulham and constantly threatened the defence with a game-high six shots. He did a lot of good things so it may seem unfair to question his contribution. Two assists and a goal is hardly a poor output but in truth, he could’ve had a hat-trick.

That’s perhaps what’s most frustrating about the 21-year-old. His goal tally doesn’t do his performances justice. He’s into his fourth season as a Premier League forward now but there’s still a lot to be desired of his finishing.

Marcus Rashford (R)

Marcus Rashford (R)

MISSING IN MIDFIELD

No, we’re not talking about Fulham.

United seemed determined to go on the front foot from the start and did just that. Yet somehow, their skilful, £89m midfielder didn’t figure into that strategy.

Paul Pogba was benched for a second game in a row after being named as a substitute against Arsenal in midweek. There’s nothing like a 4-1 win to distract from that decision or even justify it but it remains a festering situation at the club.

Especially against weaker opposition, at Old Trafford, Pogba would’ve relished the opportunity to showcase his flair, possibly help pick Fulham apart on numerous occasions and – at least temporarily – make for a much lighter mood around the camp.

The cynical view is that Mourinho was fully aware that the Frenchman could star against Fulham and didn’t want to afford him any more leverage than he already has in their ongoing feud.

That however does not explain his decision to leave Fred on the bench. His justification for the Brazilian’s lack of playing time was United’s poor defence but against Fulham, that shouldn’t have been a concern.

The £52m summer signing did come on for a cameo appearance but you’d have to say that this was an opportunity missed for Fred to get some much-needed playing time under his belt.

Missing: Paul Pogba.

Missing: Paul Pogba.

PERSPECTIVE

A 4-1 victory looks very good and this kind of performance has been long overdue from the Red Devils. However, they can’t let themselves get carried away. Young’s opening goal was greeted by relief and the result may only be respite as they travel to Anfield next.

It’s important to recognise that Fulham were incredibly poor. This United team has been there for the taking, even at home, but Claudio Ranieri apparently did get the memo.

The hosts created a lot of chances to their credit but Fulham sat off them and allowed them time and space on the ball. Even the goalkeeping for the fourth goal was atrocious.

It was too easy for United and while this is a step forward, it needs to be put into perspective.

Claudio Ranieri.

Claudio Ranieri.

Know more about Sport360 Application

Recommended

Most popular