Jose Mourinho reserved special praise for Diogo Dalot after the youngster impressed on his first Premier League start for Manchester United. United fought back twice to draw with Arsenal in a topsy-turvy clash at Old Trafford on Wednesday night with Dalot a bright spot in a much-changed line-up.
And Mourinho was pleased with what he saw from the 19-year-old with the Portuguese hinting he could be set for an extended run in the team as a result.
“The kid Diogo, fantastic,” he said afterwards. “I think Gary Neville must be thinking now that Manchester United has a right-back for 10 years.”
After a positive opening by United, David De Gea allowed Shkodran Mustafi’s header to slip through his hands, with Ander Herrera failing to clear in time on the line.
Arsenal’s second goal saw Marcos Rojo try desperately to make up for his error in giving the ball to Alexandre Lacazette only to slide in and score an own goal.
United responded quickly both times, with Anthony Martial grabbing the first equaliser before a calamity at the back for Arsenal allowed Jesse Lingard to nip in and level only 13 seconds after Rojo’s own goal.
Mourinho was forced into a number of changes by his ever-growing injury list, particularly in defence. He selected Dalot as well as Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly despite neither being fully fit while Rojo made his first appearance of the season.
Mourinho added: “Maybe we feel frustrated with the result, we feel frustrated with some mistakes, we feel frustrated with some moments where a little bit more quality would be needed but we have to be happy with the spirit, we have to be happy with the effort, the dynamic, the intensity.
“The team had a big soul. We scored four goals and we drew 2-2. Even in matches like today where we play well, we always shoot ourselves.
“But good performances. I could speak about everyone. Especially in moments where we are not very happy with the result, we need happiness on the pitch.”
Manchester United’s next Premier League match will be against Fulham at Old Trafford.