26-year-old Scott McTominay was one of the players put on sale by Manchester United and attracted fellow English club West Ham United’s interests in the previous summer transfer window, but the midfielder from Scotland became the Red Devils’ savior in last weekend’s English Premier League fixture against Brentford. When Erik ten Hag’s men were down 1-0 against their visitors in the Matchday 8 game at Old Trafford, the Dutchman brought on Scott McTominay in the 87th minute, before the United academy graduate went on to score a brace in the stoppage time to seal a dramatic come-from-behind victory for his club, avoiding the team’s seventh loss in 2023/2024.
Ten Hag’s Men Fell Behind After 26 Minutes at Home
Scott McTominay, who featured in five games in all competitions for United this season, was included in ten Hag’s bench for this fixture against Brentford, as the Dutchman made a couple of changes at the backline of the starting lineup that faced Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League a few days prior. Thomas Frank, the Brentford manager, had the same number of replacements to his first 11 for Matchday 8 of the 2023/2024 Premier League Season.
After losing their last two games and five of their last seven games, the home side fell behind in the 26th minute of this encounter. Brazil’s central-defensive midfielder and captain Casemiro misplaced a pass and was punished by Brentford’s players. Yoane Wissa advanced the ball into the penalty box and opted for a square, followed by Victor Lindelöf’s clearance. The Iceman’s effort did not go far and ricocheted to Mathias Jensen, who then scored past André Onana with ease. The Cameroonian and United’s new goalkeeper was again cristicised for going down too early in his attempt of saving a shot from his opponents.
Elsewhere in Spain, 35-year-old Polish striker Robert Lewandowski will be sidelined for more than a month, after the player picked up an ankle sprain when Barcelona faced Porto in the UEFA Champions League. The Poland captain is expected to not feature for Barca against Real Madrid in the first El Clásico in 2023/2024. For full story of Lewandowski’s latest injury, click here.
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Out-of-Favour Scott McTominay United’s Life Saviour
Despite their 21 shots (Eight on target) in the 90 minutes plus added time, ten Hag’s side were struggling to find a breakthrough against Thomas Strakosha’s goal, prompting the Dutch head coach to use all of his five substitutions in the game, with the last roll of the dice being Scott McTominay coming in for Sofyan Amrabat. The Scottish player’s impact was instant, when a saved freekick by Manchester United was sent to the dangerous zone once again, and the midfielder found the back of the net. United’s hopes were short-lived as the flag was immediately raised for another replacement Anthony Martial’s offside.
Everyone at the Red Devil camp finally turned the frown upside down in the injury time, when super sub Scott McTominay’s equaliser became valid this time around. Captain Bruno Fernandes’s cross to the penalty box was repelled, before Alejandro Garnacho took on two Brentford players and pulled the ball back for Diogo Dalot, who lashed a strike towards the goal. The Portuguese defender’s effort was too strong for Strakosha to get any hold of it, and Scott McTominay was there to make sure United level things up before time.
The goal spurred the Red Devils to find a winner in the remaining seconds of the game, and to their luck, United did find another for the provisional last kick of the game. Bruno was again the orchestrer of this goal, when the midfielder launched a long ball to the dangerous zone once again, finding ex-skipper Harry Maguire, whose headed pass reached Scott McTominay for a close-ranged shot. The 26-year-old accepted the invitation with open arms, firing in the winning goal in the 90+7th minute and earning all three points for ten Hag’s Manchester United.
Scott McTominay is the first Man United player to ever score TWO stoppage-time goals in the same Premier League match 👏 pic.twitter.com/koZ8S8kxvV
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) October 7, 2023
Can Man Utd’s Season Finally Be Kickstarted Now with a 1999 UCL Final Deja Vu?
Not only Scott McTominay became the first and only Manchester United player in the Premier League history to score two goals in the stoppage time of a league game, the Scotland star’s brace also reminded everyone about the classic 1998/1999 UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester United and German Bundesliga 1 giants Bayern Munich, where Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils were also down 1-0 until the stoppage time, before they scored two to win their second European Cup in team history.
With Scott McTominay’s sense of scoring for both Scotland and Manchester United being noticed by many, questions are being raised whether he should be played in a more advanced role in the form of an attacking midfielder, a false nine or a centre forward. In regard to this, ten Hag hinted on a fresh role and renewed future for Scott McTominay at Old Trafford: “Yes, of course. That’s why he’s here. He is one of our our midfield players and yeah, he can make the boxes, you see. But he has, as everyone [does], to fight for his position. But of course, it helps when you when you contribute like this afternoon.”
To ten Hag’s and Scott McTominay’s delight, clubs will go through the second international break of the 2023/2024 football season, allowing the Manchester United management staff to regroup themselves and figure out what needs to be changed in upcoming games in the league, domestic and European cup competitions. Hopes now are that the inspirational 2-1 comeback win against Brentford can finally allow Manchester United, a squad who has lost six games in all competitions in 2023/2024, to go back to winning ways permanently.