Valery reflects on Old Trafford wonder strike

By SFC Media Sun 03 Mar Man Utd v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Yan Valery

Yan Valery admitted his bolt from the blue at Old Trafford even surprised himself, as the 20-year-old wrote his name into the history books as a Southampton goalscorer for the first time.

With the game goalless in the 26th minute, the young defender tried his luck from distance with a strike that flew past David De Gea to give Saints the lead.

Hosts Manchester United eventually won the game 3-2, but Valery was left with a memory to last a lifetime – even if he thought star goalkeeper De Gea would save his rocket shot.

“Charlie (Austin) and Redders (Nathan Redmond) always tell me, ‘when you’ve got the ball, sometimes take your man on, but sometimes just take a touch and cross or shoot,’” he said.

“At that moment, I thought about that, so I shot and it went in. I was really proud of it.

“At first I thought he (De Gea) would save it! After I saw it went in, I thought ‘that’s mad!’ I was just hoping that would help us get three points, or at least one point.”

Valery believes his decision to go for goal in the first place was a result of the self-belief instilled by his Saints teammates and coaches.

“I feel I’m more and more confident, but that’s all from my teammates helping me and making me more confident – the coaches as well,” he added.

“They talk to me, they tell me not to be scared. Every player has helped me – I think it really helps me before a game to hear a lot of good things like that, making me more confident when I’ve got the ball.

“I know football is good when you’re going up, but in one moment you will go down – at that moment I will have to be strong mentally. But I’m really proud and happy, even for my family.”

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