Amid Manchester United’s dismal draw against Leicester City on Saturday evening, there were many calls from fans to promote the youngsters into the first team.
So the timing was ripe for Manchester United’s under-23 side to deliver a strong performance on Monday night away at Leicester’s under-23s.
Unfortunately it all went a bit wrong. United’s under-23s were 3-0 down at half-time. There was a fightback in the second half as United pulled the scoreline back to 3-2, but could not quite find an equaliser.
United’s two goals came via an own goal, after Charlie Wellens hit the post and then his effort rebounded in off a Leicester player.
Shola Shoretire netted United’s second, scoring his ninth of the season in all competitions for the academy sides after an unwitting assist from Hannibal, in which he controlled the Tunisian’s shot, before flicking it into the net.
United’s starting XI: Mastny; Fernandez, Hardley, Fish, Wellens; Savage, Hannibal, Garnacho, Shoretire, Emeran; Mellor.
Dan Gore makes debut
The match was notable for one young Manchester United player, who made his debut for the under-23s. 17-year-old midfielder Dan Gore came off the bench to play the final 13 minutes of the game.
He came agonisingly close to making an immediate impact, hitting the bar late in the game after an excellent team move, nearly claiming a point.
Gore has been a regular for the under-18s this season, providing eight assists and scoring once. He has been a key player in the FA Youth Cup run to the final.
He also scored for England’s under-18s side last week in a 3-3 draw against Denmark.
Young striker Mateo Mejia was also on the bench for the under-23s for the first time last night since August as he stepped up his return from injury.
United’s under-23s are back in action on Friday night against Chelsea in a match which will be played at Old Trafford.
Despite the defeat United’s under-23 side sit fourth in the table, and will be hopeful of beating upcoming opponents Chelsea, who are down in 13th.