Manchester United fans change their minds about Scott McTominay despite defeat to Barcelona
Sergio Busquets has a Scott McTominay poster above his bed
Scott McTominay proved his doubters wrong on Wednesday night after a dominant performance against Barcelona at Old Trafford.
The young midfielder set the tone for his side even after being scythed down by Sergio Busquets early on and after the game, both Gary Lineker and Owen Hargreaves - who knows a thing or two about all-action midfield performances - called him 'the best player on the pitch'.
Whilst that might only be the case because Lionel Messi was slightly less than his usual imperious self, McTominay's plaudits were well-deserved and did a lot to enhance his reputation amongst United supporters who were once sceptical about his ability or indeed, whether he belonged as a starter in their midfield.
The stats tell their own story.
McTominay vs Barcelona:
100% defensive aerials won
100% tackles won
80% pass accuracy
5 ball recoveries
3 fouls in middle third
— utdreport (@utdreport) April 10, 2019
And as for the eye-test, well, there's absolutely nothing wrong with sending veteran midfield shithouse Arturo Vidal back home on the first flight out to Santiago.
It's proved to have been quite a week for McTominay, who only scored his first goal for the club last Tuesday during their 2-1 defeat in the Premier League to Wolves.
After the game, his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said of the 22-year-old: "Every time he plays for us he's improving. He's a great athlete and he can run all day. Even on the ball, he was composed and, to be honest, he was the one settling us".
United fans on Twitter, meanwhile, were quick to heap praise on the Scottish international - a stark contrast to his standing amongst supporters earlier in the season.
Scott McTominay was utterly incredible. That’s one of those performances where you see a boy turn into a man. He looked like he’d been playing at the top level for years, and to say that against a Barcelona side with Busquets, Vidal, Rakitic is saying something. Wow.
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) April 10, 2019
22-years-old and going home with Lionel Messi in your pocket.
Not bad, Scott McTominay, not bad. pic.twitter.com/EuSV29le93
— Football Facts (@football_factx) April 10, 2019
Had my doubts about McTominay. Not after tonight. One of the best players on the pitch.
— Si Lloyd (@SmnLlyd5) April 10, 2019
Whilst the result was ultimately a disappointing one for United, indeed, they didn't even muster a single shot on target, it was still a battling performance from Solskjaer's men and, crucially, keeps them in with a shout going into the second leg at the Nou Camp.
And that's no mean feat given the quality in this Barcelona side.