Manchester United’s under-21 side recorded a first league victory of the season on Saturday with a 3-2 win over Wolves.
Here is a look at five positives for the young Red Devils’ side to take away from the victory…
Fighting spirit finally pays off
While Manchester United’s under-21 side have two victories in the EFL Trophy, it has been a frustrating season in the league with the side failing to win any of the first nine league matches.
This stretch has included six draws, including two spirited fightbacks in 3-3 draws with Brighton and Chelsea. The previous match against Chelsea saw United score two injury-time goals to clinch a draw having trailed 3-1 on 90 minutes.
It was this same fighting spirit which saw United’s young side secure a 3-2 win over Wolves at the weekend, having trailed twice. When Wolves went 2-1 up on 71 minutes it made United even more determined, and the team pushed on to win, scoring a winner in the 88th minutes to complete the turnaround.
United’s team largely comprises of players featuring in the under-21s last season, and they are adjusting to this new level. A victory will give them confidence ahead of a match against a Tottenham team next weekend who are still without a win.
Teden Mengi’s first start of the season
Young defender Teden Mengi made his return as a substitute in the EFL Trophy against Fleetwood Town in midweek. He was in the starting line-up at the weekend.
After a seven-month lay-off with injury, the 20-year-old is fit again, a major personal boost and great help to his under-21 colleagues.
United have high hopes for Mengi, and it is possible he is fast-tracked to the first team amid an injury to Raphael Varane.
Joe Hugill scores on first start of the season
This match also saw Joe Hugill make his return after an injury. Hugill has trained with the first team over the past week and Erik ten Hag may have taken note of his goal.
Hugill had come off the bench in midweek against Mengi and missed a penalty in the shootout with Fleetwood, so it was important for him to quickly shake off that rustiness.
He came off the bench in this game for his first league game of the season and caught the Wolves goalkeeper in possession to score, shortly after coming on.
This was the 36th goal Hugill has scored at youth level for Manchester United, in a week he celebrated his 19th birthday. As with Mengi, it is helpful to have him back.
Shola Shoretire continues hot streak
It wouldn’t be an under-21 game lately without a goal for Shola Shoretire. The 18-year-old struck his fifth goal of the season to draw the game level at 2-2.
Shoretire tackled a Wolves defender in the final third to put himself through on goal, and he finished low at the near post to capitalise on the opening.
All of Shoretire’s five goals have come inside the past month and he is currently the team’s top scorer, and he also has three assists during this stretch.
He is another player who has trained on and off with the first team and he has the type of talent Erik ten Hag may feel he can nurture to succeed with the first team.
Amid a difficult winless stretch, Shoretire has shown character and stepped up as one of the team’s leaders.
Marc Jurado’s late winner
Manchester United’s late winner was scored by right-back Marc Jurado, sparking joyful celebrations from relieved Red Devils players.
This was the second goal Jurado has scored this season, a welcome development in his game. Across the previous two seasons at under-18 and under-21 level, Jurado had only scored one goal.
His winner at the weekend was finely struck shot from the edge of the box after a period of sustained pressure from United, giving the team a well deserved lead.
Right-back is a position where there is a potential first team pathway, so Jurado’s progress is certainly one to keep a close eye on.