A passage of play that “perfectly sums up the difference between Scott McTominay and Kobbie Mainoo as central midfielders” has gone viral following Manchester United’s latest win.
Erik ten Hag’s side progressed to the FA Cup fourth round on Monday after goals from Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes sealed a relatively straightforward 2-0 victory over League One outfit Wigan.
Dalot, who opened the scoring for United with a curling effort from outside the box, would eventually scoop the Player of the Match award for his efforts.
But many agreed that teenager Kobbie Mainoo deserved the prize following a dominant midfield display.
Mainoo, who has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at Old Trafford this season, completed 10 out of 13 ground duels and won all eight of his tackles against Wigan – more than any other player on the pitch.
His reading of the game was also second to none. A moment from the first-half, when Mainoo retained possession after a mishit pass from Scott McTominay, has gone viral.
You can see that clip below:
This video perfectly sums up the difference between Scott McTominay and Kobbie Mainoo as central midfielders. pic.twitter.com/p7fhJRRERs
— Stretford Post (@StretfordPost) January 9, 2024
Here’s how fans on social media reacted to the incident.
One said: “Many have used this to diss McTominay. Mainoo is class. What he does generally Scott can’t do. But immediately after there’s a classy turn under pressure from Scott and a run which ends up culminating in 1st goal. Different strengths.”
A second wrote: “This boy is going to be special. We actually have our own N’Golo Kante,” while a third commented: “Mainoo is going straight to the top.”
A fourth added: I can’t think of a 10 second video that encapsulates the difference between Scott McTominay and Kobbie Mainoo as central midfielders better than this one.”
Mainoo & McTominay is a midfield partnership that covers the basics of midfield to a good standard
📺Screen defense & track runners
⚽️Progression / Switch play/tempo
Good in both 📦, and good at most in between. Carrington 👍 pic.twitter.com/PVAvbjN2fd
— Guillaume (@guillaumevdwege) January 8, 2024
Many have been impressed with Mainoo’s performances of late, including fellow midfielder Christian Eriksen, who has hailed the “exceptional” midfielder.
“I’m very impressed,” Eriksen toldMUTV. “Luckily I’ve seen him in training and I’ve seen him [from] close by. I really like what I see. I mean, he’s an exceptional player.
“He’s still a very young lad, but he’s doing really well, and he’s getting his spot in the team.”
When asked what advice he would give Mainoo, the Dane added: “Just like what he’s doing: being available for training and showing his qualities in the game, which he has done.
“Then obviously it’s up to the manager to choose and to play him and get his confidence from there.
“But I think at the moment and how he’s behaved in the first team around us has been really good. “I think he’s in a good spot.”