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‘A real threat’: Man United ace labelled ‘exceptional’ after his latest Euro 2024 display

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They say you make your own luck. And the Manchester United ace was proof of that, scoring his first ever goal at a major international tournament during the group stages of Euro 2024.

Yes, there was certainly an element of fortune. An ill-advised swipe from a nearby defender firing the ball high into the roof of the net.

But Scott McTominay had to get himself in the position to take that shot in the first place. Popping up in the penalty area, like he had done countless times for Manchester United during the 2023/24 campaign, McTominay took his club form onto the international stage as Scotland’s hard-fought draw with Switzerland kept their hopes of knockout stage football alive.

After initially giving the goal to Fabian Schar – the Newcastle centre-half who inadvertently fired past a bemused Yann Sommer – UEFA eventually awarded the goal to McTominay. His 19th for club and country since March 2023.

Yes, he’s hit shots better. Yes, Sommer probably had it covered. But you make your own luck, and McTominay made his with a first-time strike which was certainly heading on target before Schar made sure.

Scott McTominay of Scotland is seen  during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Scotland and Switzerland at Cologne Stadium on June 19, 20...

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Manchester United’s Scott McTominay opens Euro 2024 account

It was not just his penalty-area contributions that earned McTominay the admiration of Joe Hart, meanwhile, the former England, Manchester City, Tottenham and Celtic goalkeeper speaking during BBC One’s live coverage (19 June, 10pm).

Scotland, so passive in that 5-1 curtain raiser against Germany, were much improved in every department vs the Swiss. Particularly on the ball, McTominay helping to move possession through the thirds with a swagger and a confidence.

“I really liked his performance,” Hart said, McTominay adding another ‘clutch goal’ to his growing collection. “I thought he was excellent. A real threat.

“When I hear that his club (Manchester United) have scored a late goal, a clutch goal, it’s often him.

“I thought he was exceptional on the ball and someone the team looked to to drive the team forward.”

By McTominay’s own admission, Sunday’s final group-stage clash with Hungary has an ‘all or nothing‘ feel about it now. Scotland, their hard-earned point in midweek taking them above Marco Rossi’s side in the Group A, know that a win could be enough to qualify for the second round.

Hungary, despite a lively and effective display against hosts Germany earlier in the day, saw their resistance broken by goals from Barcelona’s Ilkay Gundogan and the oft-unplayable Jamal Musiala.

  • READ: Manchester United stars at Euro 2024, fixtures, kick-off times

Scotland face Hungary in Group A decider

Former Man United coach David Moyes, meanwhile, wonders if Scotland boss Steve Clarke could get even more out of McTominay by utilising him not as a box-to-box number eight but as something more akin to a centre-forward.

“Before the tournament we were short (up front). We had Lyndon Dykes, Che Adams… Probably our best goalscoring player recently has been Scott McTominay., who has scored a few goals,” says Moyes, Scotland losing QPR’s Dykes to injury.

“I always thought there was a chance Scott McTominay could play as a false nine.

“We just don’t have, maybe, the level of centre-forwards which some of the other nations have got. You can’t go and sign players when you’re an international manager. You have to play with what you’ve got. Scotland have got to get a win, or a result, with the players they have got.”

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