Victor Lindelof has expressed his delight at picking up his first clean sheet for Manchester United against Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Swede has endured a slow start to his Man United career, receiving widespread criticism for his showing against Huddersfield Town last month, but made his first league start last weekend.
And he was handed another chance to impress against Brighton and duly took it, producing a composed, commanding display as Ashley Young‘s deflected strike gave United an important three points.
Speaking to MUTV after the game, Lindelof was clearly pleased with what was an accomplished display at the back.
“It was a tough game, we have three points and that’s the most important thing,” he said. “We didn’t play our best game but we still got the win so that shows some strength.”
“We tried to do our best and play our game but it didn’t work out so good today but we still got the win and that’s the most important.
“I always enjoy playing football and I’m always happy to help the team, playing at home is always fun and it felt good.
“I think it was a good challenge a 50/50 ball I thought I had to win this ball and I did.
“Of course we always try to do our defensive job and not concede goals and we did that today and that’s very good for us.
“It’s very important it was a tough game to get to win today it was important and just trying to keep going the way we have been going. We have two very tough games coming up and we have to recover and try and get the wins there as well.”
For the first time in his United career, Lindelof made Old Trafford sit up and take notice of him against Chris Hughton’s side.
The visitors sprung forward on the break and Anthony Knockaert had options to his left. He decided to bring the ball forward, keen on bursting behind the back four, but Lindelof was having absolutely none of it, producing a perfectly timed crunching tackle to disposes the Frenchman and leave him in a heap on the floor.
And perhaps the best part was that Knockaert – Brighton’s primary source of cut and thrust going forward – hardly touched the ball afterwards.
It was a moment that encapsulated Lindelof’s overall display: precise, physically imposing, confident, nullifying. Supporters will hope that such a performance will serve as a sign of things to come.