Diogo Dalot admits he has gone through a “tough journey” at Manchester United after scoring his first goal for the club against Tranmere Rovers.
Making his first start in all competitions since October, Dalot struck a fine second in United’s 6-0 FA Cup fourth-round victory at Prenton Park, turning smartly after collecting Anthony Martial’s pass and firing home.
It was a moment to savour for the 20-year-old, who has been restricted to six appearances in all competitions due to injury.
Indeed, physical problems have largely halted Dalot’s progress at Old Trafford since an encouraging first season following his move from Porto in 2018.
Speaking of his strike against Tranmere, Dalot told United’s in-house media: “Yeah, [the celebration] was more like a release of something I’ve been feeling inside me after these three months.
“It’s been a tough journey, but like I said, these kinds of things, a win and a goal make us feel like I’m doing a good job in fighting, working every day and taking the opportunities.”
— Diogo Dalot (@DalotDiogo) January 27, 2020
United claimed their biggest away win since 1999 thanks to goals from Dalot, Harry Maguire, Jesse Lingard, Phil Jones, Martial and Mason Greenwood.
It was a boost in confidence for the Red Devils, who had only won two of their previous seven games in all competitions and failed to score in back-to-back Premier League defeats to Liverpool and Burnley.
With the second leg of the EFL Cup semi-final against Manchester City to come on Wednesday, Dalot was proud of the way the players fought for a result.
“[It was] like a big fight,” he said. “If we didn’t come with the right desire and the right mentality, we could make it more difficult.
“Like I said, today we did a good job: right mentality, proper fight, respect the opponent and we get the win.
“It’s what we work for every day for, these kinds of games, for this kind of fight and now we’re focused on tomorrow and we go again on Wednesday.”
United trail City 3-1 from the first leg.