Wout Weghorst is still revelling in the “special” feeling of scoring his first Manchester United goal at Old Trafford, having waited “too long” to break his duck at the Theatre of Dreams.
At the ninth attempt since his loan move from Burnley, the Netherlands international finally netted his first home goal in the commanding 4-1 victory over Real Betis in the Europa League.
That marked Weghorst’s second strike in 15 appearances, though the 30-year-old’s work rate has been widely praised despite his modest goal return.
Reacting quickly in the box to turn home after Scott McTominay’s shot had been saved by Claudio Bravo, Weghorst’s sheer relief was evident.
“Yes, I think you could [see] it,” he told United’s official website. “[It was a] great feeling and, of course, I had to wait a long time for it – too long.
“[I’m] really happy. I got my goal, so that was a great feeling with the stadium, in front of the Stretford End. It was special.”
That goal meant *everything* to Wout#MUFC || #UEL pic.twitter.com/yXEwtoHOGS
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 11, 2023
United’s performance against Betis on Thursday provided a timely response to their humbling 7-0 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield four days earlier.
Weghorst found himself at the centre of controversy after that loss, with footage emerging of him touching the ‘This Is Anfield’ sign in the tunnel ahead of kick-off, a gesture usually associated with Liverpool players rather than their opponents.
He claimed he was simply trying to wind up compatriot Virgil van Dijk as he attempted to prevent the defender from touching the sign.
But he got himself back in United fans’ good books on Thursday, and he was thrilled to have played a part in helping the Red Devils bounce back.
“That was what we wanted, to give a reaction after the defeat that was, of course, not acceptable. It [was] not our level, not our standards and definitely something we should avoid, and have to avoid for the future.
“We were really [happy] to get a reaction and to show us, and I think that’s what we did [against Betis].”
Erik ten Hag’s side will look to continue that momentum against Southampton – the Premier League’s bottom team – to tighten their grip on third place.
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