Nemanja Matic has expressed his delight at claiming a truly superb injury time winner during Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on Monday night.
A miserable first half and poor lack of concentration moments after the break saw Man United fall two goals behind, but Chris Smalling‘s header six minutes later ignited a classic comeback.
Romelu Lukaku drew United level with a superb piece of strength inside the box and then Matic, with seconds remaining, fired a truly stunning looping volley past Wayne Hennessey to win the game.
And Matic, speaking moments after the final whistle, was decidedly pleased to have claimed his first United goal.
From the moment it was announced that Matic had joined the club over the summer, the first thing that went through my mind was not how he would help Paul Pogba, or give the defence protection, or add greater depth to the midfield.
No, none of that. To me, the most important aspect of this particular man’s arrival was notion that, at some point, we would see Matic bang one from distance. Not like the one against Benfica in October. I mean an absolute rip-snorter, a pearler, a strike so wonderful you’d bring it home to your parents.
And finally, seven months on, it came. And yes, it was totally, totally worth the wait.
What a goal. What a moment. And what an effect that could have on the closing stages of United’s season.