Matteo Darmian put in an excellent all-round performance against Crystal Palace tonight at Old Trafford.
Playing at left-back, with Antonio Valencia occupying his usual right-back spot, Darmian had a simple night defensively as Palace were so poor going forward and offered plenty in attack as well.
His goal was superbly taken with his left foot but it was a total of 11 tackles that was what impressed me the most, he really quashed any threat Palace showed down his flank.
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 20, 2016
It’s been a very strange season for Darmian. After such a strong and consistent start in the first couple of months, fans really started to get excited. It looked like we had our best right-back since the halcyon days of Gary Neville.
Yet, after a shocking display away at Arsenal he cowered into his shell, got dropped, suffered a few injuries and struggled to get back into the team. When he did, he underperformed again and fans were asking – what has happened to the Darmian we saw at the start of the season?
Tonight’s performance was comfortable given how poor Palace played but it will still give Darmian a little confidence boost, as will his goal, so maybe there is now some genuine competition in our full-back positions.
The next question is whether Timothy Fosu-Mensah will return to the starting XI or if Darmian will keep his spot.