Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof is not exactly known for his attacking prowess.
The Swedish central defender has been at the forefront of United ’s success at the other end of the pitch with his rock-solid partnership with Harry Maguire.
But he made his presence felt at the other end with a key role in Mason Greenwood’s opener against Brighton.
Lindelof picked up the ball with no pressure just inside the Brighton half and played a simple ball to Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the right flank.
Yet in a signal of United’s intent in the game, he followed the ball and made beyond him down the right flank.
That saw him drag full-back Dan Burn out of position slightly, giving Wan-Bissaka space to find Greenwood, who was then able to turn and run at the Brighton defence.
He subsequently fired a stunning strike into the bottom corner from which point United never looked back.
And whilst he rightly earned the plaudits, Lindelof’s surprise contribution was highlighted at half-time by the Sky Sports pundits.
“You see if Lindelof didn’t run, it would have been very different,” Patrice Evra said.
“He kept the full-back really wide, and that gave Greenwood the space inside.”
Jamie Redknapp added: “ “You make a good point with Lindelof making that run as well.
“He runs Dan Burn off and Dale Stephens tries to get with it but can’t quite make it.
“But the rest of it is just brilliant.”
Greenwood certainly took his chance, with Gary Neville drawing comparisons with Robin van Persie and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on co-commentary.
“It’s getting to the point now where it’ll be impossible to leave him out,” Neville said shortly after his strike.
“He reminds me so much of Robin van Persie, the way he cuts in off that right hand side. The composure, the technique.
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was a master at this, one of the best. Taking it to one side and then just pulling it across the defender.
“He’s justified his place in the side.”
After the game, manager Solskjaer branded Greenwood a “special kid”.
He said: “He played fantastically. He’s a young kid, he’s a special kid and we know when he gets faced up [to goal] and looking forward he’s dangerous.
“But I thought his hold up play his general play and his link-up play today was great [too].”