Scott McTominay scored his first goal of the season in Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal, with a great finish from distance putting his side ahead just before half-time.
As has too often been the case, United were clawed back and failed to make the most of the other chances they created. Marcus Rashford raced behind the Arsenal defence but hesitated and his shot was snuffed out, Harry Maguire forced a great save with his effort, while McTominay missed out on being the hero of the day after missing the target with a free header in the second half.
However, in a midfield that is bereft of quality, McTominay has provided the team with more than his fair share of effort as he looks to establish himself in the first team of the club he has represented since he was five.
Speaking to MUTV after the game, McTominay reflected on United’s form in front of goal, and has revealed what the coaches have been talking about on the training ground.
I probably should have scored that header and that was disappointing. There were a lot of different chances we had in the game and it is about us being more ruthless in front of goal now. I have said it in previous weeks we have to get more opportunities and create more. That is something the gaffer, Kieran [McKenna] and Michael [Carrick] are reiterating in the training sessions.
We are Manchester United and everything is so well documented but we have a real good bunch of players who are a tight-knit group and the team spirit is really, really good. We keep everything in house and it is all positive.
On current form you’d have more fun at Casumo if you’re expecting an action packed game at Old Trafford, given how woeful we have been at creating and converting chances since our opening day 4-0 victory over Chelsea.’
Still, the fact McTominay was disappointed with only picking up a point against Arsenal probably illustrates how poor the opposition were, as much as us failing to put away chances.
It is definitely a disappointment with different opportunities we had in the game and the way we started in the first 45 minutes, because we were right on the front foot and doing a lot of things right. I thought we were good value for three points tonight.
It is little mistakes that we have to start cutting out because they cost you games, and points in this respect. Everyone in the dressing room knows it is a tough one to take because we were on top.
While it was a disappointing night overall, and the goal won’t do much to ease McTominay’s frustrations over failing to claim all three points, he was still delighted to have scored his first goal at Old Trafford, having already scored away from home at Huddersfield and Wolves.
I had a funny feeling in the hotel today and that I was going to score at Wolves as well, so it must be the sleeping I am doing in the afternoons. It was an amazing feeling to score my first goal at Old Trafford. I scored a couple in the Reserves but it is always a nice feeling to score in front of 76,000 people. It was amazing. The crowd were absolutely unbelievable.
Still, United should be relying on McTominay for his defensive duties or to bring the ball forward, rather than goalscoring. It paints a dim picture of our attack that a young midfielder, who still has won everyone over, is scoring for us in the big games.
Roll on the January transfer window!