Manchester United best players in U18s victory vs Middlesbrough

Joe Hugill was among the best players on the pitch for Manchester United in a 4-1 victory against Middlesbrough in the U18 Premier League.

Three points for United takes the Reds up to fourth in the division. Neil Ryan’s team now have one game-in-hand but are level on points with third-place Liverpool.

United had to work hard for the win against ‘Boro who threatened throughout the game but somehow finished up on the end of a mild thrashing.

Joe Hugill best player for United in win

It’s seven goals in eight games for Manchester United’s youth sides now. Hugill joined from Sunderland in the summer. There was interest in the England striker from all over the continent, including from some of United’s main rivals. He’s proving why he was such a coveted-signing already.

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Hugill put United in front with a third-minute prod from 10 yards. It was a loose, bouncing ball in the box and the finish was an emphatic, instinctive drive that beat the goalkeeper.

The 17-year-old’s second goal was similarly efficient. Wellens had pulled it back for him and Hugill very rarely makes a mistake in such a scenario. Give him space and he will score.

Iestyn Hughes offers quality at both ends

It was Hughes who assisted Hugill’s second goal. The Welshman was solid in defence and came out into attack in the second half to provide United with an additional outlet. The assist for Hugill was an example of that, but not the only time it happened.

It is important to single it out, though. Hughes first found the space inside the area by stepping inside. Hoogewerf saw it, played the pass and Hughes intelligently stepped further inside to shield the ball from his marker and pull it back to Hugill who finished.

Hughes looked confident and was crucial to United’s performance.

Charlie Wellens finishes clinically

In a tight game, United needed to finish the chances they created clinically. Wellens did exactly that. His first-time effort on his left foot was neat and he hit it calmly. It was nothing more than a pass into the bottom left corner, and that’s what the situation called for; composure.

It’s his first goal of the season at any level – Wellens has played three times for the under-23s – and a confidence boost for a developing player. He scored five goals in 11 starts for the under-18s last season. He needs to keep that goalscoring up.

Honourable mentions should go to Isak Hansen-Aaroen for his wonderful solo effort at the end and also to Hoogewerf and Garnacho who had a some good moments in the game.

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Life-long Manchester United fan with a strong interest in the club's academy. Host of the Manchester United Weekly Podcast and United Through Time. First game at Old Trafford was the 7-1 rout of AS Roma in 2007.