Diogo Dalot believes the stunning late turnaround against Brentford can be a watershed moment in Manchester United’s season.
Erik ten Hag’s men were staring down the barrel of a third Old Trafford defeat in eight days as Saturday’s Premier League match headed into second-half stoppage time.
Mathias Jensen capitalised on a comedy of errors to put Brentford on course for a famous victory that would have ratcheted up the already intense pressure and scrutiny on out-of-sorts United.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 8, 2023
But, unlike their previous defeats to Crystal Palace and Galatasaray, the Red Devils found a way to fight back as super sub Scott McTominay’s brace sealed a remarkable 2-1 triumph.
Trailing at 92 minutes 46 seconds, this was United’s latest ever Premier League comeback and Dalot echoed manager Ten Hag’s view that Saturday must be “a turning point” in their season.
“I think it means a little bit more than three points for us after these last couple of weeks,” the Portugal right-back said.
“I think the way that we won – obviously I didn’t mind scoring a few goals earlier than the 90 minutes – but I think it shows we are here to fight, we are here to suffer together.
“I think the fans were behind us every step of the way and I think this can be a turning point for us. We want to look at this as a turning point and we know it’s going to be difficult.
“That’s how it’s meant to be to be as a Manchester United player and today I think was proof we can fight until the end.”
United dug deep at Old Trafford, where after the game Ten Hag bemoaned a lack of hunger during their meek, error-strewn start to the season.
Those issues were clear in Tuesday’s 3-2 Champions League defeat at home to Galatasaray, increasing the external focus on Old Trafford that Dalot has previously called a “killing machine”.
“We did a lot of things together, everyone getting together,” he said of the build-up.
“We focused on what we have to do tactically.
“We always do that, but especially coming into the game, feeling like we had to be a proper team.
“Obviously we controlled the game, we created chances, we could have scored goals, but the most important thing for me was the way we fought until the end, the way the fans showed the support for us and that shows they are with us.
“They have been with us all the way and we have to give (back) like this.”
Dalot said it was clear to see the team “gave everything” on Saturday afternoon as McTominay’s 87th-minute introduction sparked a scarcely-believable comeback.
The 24-year-old says he sees a lot of himself in the selfless, hardworking midfielder, who was linked with a summer move but stayed to fight for his place at his boyhood club.
“When Scott comes in, with all the energy that he has, the mentality, that shows that we are a proper team and I’m very happy with the result,” Dalot said.
“I think if you’re a Manchester United fan you know that Scott will always love the club and will always fight for his place.
“I don’t know what was in his head (over the summer), but I’m sure that once he decided that he has to stay I think he will give 100 per cent.
“Now we just have to help him to get along every day with us and be together as a team.”
So proud of these boys ? pic.twitter.com/NGijgyZsC6
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) October 7, 2023
While United went into the international break on a high, Brentford were left reeling from a last-gasp gut punch and even later knockout blow.
Brentford midfielder Vitaly Janelt said: “We played a very good game and at 90 minutes we were leading at Old Trafford.
“Then, in five minutes, they turn around the game and win 2-1.
“We have to finish a counter or a set-piece to make it 2-0, that’s the only thing I would say we can do better.
“It’s nice to have a good performance but obviously we want the points.
“Sometimes I don’t care if we play s***, as long as we get three points. We can turn it around together.”