Chris Wheeler for MailOnline
Ashley Young thanked his lucky stars for goal-line technology after Manchester United’s win over Stoke – and revealed that his match-saving block from Mame Diouf came off his backside.
Young somehow got in the way of Diouf’s last-gasp shot deep into added time to preserve United’s 2-1 win at Old Trafford on Tuesday night. The Goal Decision System was used to tell referee Jon Moss that the ball had not crossed the line.
‘We’re delighted that it has been brought in,’ said Young. ‘The referee was there with his watch, and as soon as the ball hit me and was cleared off the line I looked to see if he was whistling for a goal. He wasn’t and we managed to hold on for the win, so thank God for goal-line technology.
VIDEO Scroll down to watch Sportsmail’s player ratings: Manchester United 2-1 Stoke
Ashley Young moves to block Mame Diouf’s shot on the goal-line in stoppage time on Tuesday night
Young admitted he was lucky that goal-line technology was in place to confirm the shot hadn’t gone in
‘I’m not too sure what I was thinking beforehand. Diouf had the shot and I think it came off my bum and went the other way. It was just a reaction for me to turn around and run in that direction. I saw it fall to Mame and it was just a reaction to stick my leg out and hope for the best.
‘Luckily for me I cleared it, but I felt we were the team that could have got more goals. It wasn’t meant to be but we stand here now with the three points and we are looking forward to the next game.’
United went ahead through Marouane Fellaini’s header before Steven Nzonzi equalised for Stoke with a fantastic strike.
David de Gea pulls off a stunning late save as the United goalkeeper worked hard to deny Stoke a point
De Gea celebrates the win, which keeps United in the top four and on course for a Champions League spot
Juan Mata restored the lead when his freekick bounced through a crowded goalmouth and straight into the net, but Louis van Gaal’s team had to withstand a late onslaught in which David de Gea produced a stunning save to deny Diouf before Young’s block from the former United striker.
He added: ‘It was a bit scary at the end but we knew that’s what Stoke would do, pressure us in the last 10 minutes. We felt that would come and we had to defend as a team. Everybody did brilliantly, from the goalkeeper all the way to the forwards. We’re delighted to get the three points.
Marouane Fellaini rises highest to put United in front as they secured a fourth consecutive win
Marcos Rojo watches as Juan Mata’s free kick drifts past everyone and into the corner of Begovic’s goal
Young celebrates with Mata as United go back into the lead, and the winger said they could have scored more
‘I think we were on top, to be honest. It was a nervy last 10 or 15 minutes, but we created chances in the second after scoring the second goal, and I thought we could have finished those chances off. It wasn’t meant to be and then we had to resilient in defence.
‘David has pulled off a great save and I cleared one off the line which was literally on the line, so it was nice to get the three points. They are a hard-fought three points but we got there in the end.’
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