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Goal of the Month Focus: McTominay v Man City

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by

Joe Ganley

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I admit: I'm slightly biased. Simply because I was one of the lucky thousands to be present in the Stretford End when Scott steamed onto that loose Ederson throw-out and crushed City hearts with one simple swish of his right foot.

I've already written elsewhere on this site about what a heavenly moment it was for every Red inside the ground that afternoon but, two weeks on, I've still barely calmed down.

In the absence of any subsequent games at Old Trafford – for now, at least – it's remained fresh in my imagination. Already a great passage of play, McTominay's goal is even more fixed in my mind now that we're temporarily robbed of our beloved United.

I dream of the day we'll all be back in M16 watching the lads try to recreate the feeling we all experienced when that goal went in; a sweet return when this terrible current crisis is blessedly behind us.

But, beyond all that, why was it such a great goal?

For starters, it was different. I cannot remember seeing another goal like it during my 25 years or so of going to the game, though I'm sure someone with a more meticulous memory than my own will remind me of one. Paul Ince's quick free-kick against Ipswich in the famous 9-0 win in 1994/95 is slightly similar, but nowhere near as dramatic.

Given the moment, given the opposition, given the match, it was a staggering gamble that paid off for McTominay. After all, had he miscued the ball, let's say, so it headed straight back into Ederson's arms and helped launch another City attack, what would the response have been?

Several people around me in the lower tier of the Stretford End were quite keen for the Scotland international to run the ball into the corner, if I remember accurately.

So not only was it different, but positive and daring too.

McTominay is not primarily a goalscorer, after all. What mental fortitude it must have taken in that split second, in teeming rain, to decide to go for the option that promised rich reward rather than just mere safety.

Finally, it created a feeling of player-and-fan unity that I've not felt in the stadium since Sir Alex Ferguson's final season. 

And, let's be honest, when we love a great, dramatic goal, part of the reason we love it is seeing how bonkers the crowd goes behind the goal. How the players celebrate. It's what brings fans together; it's what players buzz off too. You can bet McTominay has watched that goal back a fair few times and felt a surge of pride and emotion flowing through him.

The other nine efforts on our shortlist are all great to watch, but none meant as much as this one. None was delivered under such pressure. Surely none brought as much joy to the millions who follow Manchester United. That makes it a Goal-of-the-Season contender in my eyes; it should be a shoo-in for March's prize.

In my subjective opinion, of course...

The opinions in this story are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United Football Club.

Vote for your Goal of the Month in the Official App now. The winner will be announced at midday on Saturday.

by

Joe Ganley

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