Nemanja Matic hails Scott McTominay’s performance against Benfica

by Leo Nieboer

Nemanja Matic has heaped praise on Scott McTominay after the youngster produced an assured midfield display on his first start in the Champions League against Benfica.

The 20-year-old, who impressed over pre-season, featured from the bench in Lisbon and started in the 2-0 win over Swansea City last week.

He was given a chance to impress from the start once again on Tuesday and, following a shaky start, quickly grew into the game and dominated alongside Matic.

And the Serbian, speaking after the game, was full of praise for the way McTominay went about his business.

“I think Scott is going to be a great player and already is a great player,” he said.

“He’s very young, very talented and physically strong. I’m sure he is the future of Manchester United and I enjoy playing with him because he also works really hard and is very confident.”

With Pizzi in effervescent mood early on, McTominay was clearly struggling with the sheer speed and intricacy of Benfica’s forward movements, with the former even nutmegging him on a couple of occasions.

But with Matic alongside him, the Scot battled, persevered, and ultimately acclimatised to the pace of proceedings and started to build momentum higher up the pitch. Man United’s goal in the first half, after all, stemmed from some sacrificial, swift manipulation of the ball.

Supporters will hope that this is indeed just the start for McTominay, who will no doubt improve with more time alongside the indomitable Serbian.

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