Manchester United’s involvement in the UEFA Youth League is over after a last 16 penalty shootout loss to Borussia Dortmund.
Spanish forward Alejandro Garnacho was one of United’s standout players on the night, putting the ball in the net twice, only to be ruled offside on both occasions.
The youngster also spurned a great chance to equalise in the second half when he fired narrowly wide. United did grab an equaliser through defender Rhys Bennett minutes later in any case.
Despite his miss, Garnacho was particularly impressive. While Charlie McNeill scored United’s first goal, Garnacho was the more threatening of United’s forwards, drifting in from the left and linking up well with his teammates.
He had a shot from distance saved, another blocked, and another across the face of goal. With his two goals both ruled offside, it just wasn’t his night.
United had high hopes to go far and win the competition, and these will have to wait another year. The Red Devils lost 3-1 on penalties after the 2-2 draw in 90 minutes.
Garnacho vowed in a message on social media after the game, ‘I’ll be back’, claiming United did not deserve to lose the game.
He wasn’t wrong, United dominated the match, being hit on the break twice by Dortmund, and should have had a penalty in injury time after Charlie McNeill was fouled.
Garnacho has 14 goals this season in all competitions and can be proud of his display. At just 17-years-old, he was one of the youngest players on the pitch.
Some players in the United side won’t be back for the under-19 competition next season, they will either be out on loan, past the age group, or in one or two cases, moved on permanently.
One or two could be with the first team too, and there’s a chance Garnacho may be, he’s that talented. Anthony Elanga played in the UEFA Youth League group stages, and he was an obvious miss who could have made a difference against Dortmund.
Garnacho can win silverware
For Alejandro Garnacho, this match was just a bonus. His priority now shifts back to the FA Youth Cup, in which he struck two goals last week to win United’s quarter-final against Leicester.
United have a semi-final against Wolves later this month which will be held at Old Trafford, and if United make the final, the team will have home advantage too.
It is a great opportunity, and along with Radek Vitek, Rhys Bennett, Marc Jurado and Charlie McNeill who all featured against Dortmund, Garnacho and co will get the chance to end the season with silverware.