Manchester United’s youthful under-23s side may look a little raw at times but they secured their first Premier League 2 win of the season on Friday night. Ethan Galbraith scored a penalty in added time to finish a comeback which had begun with a smart finish from Anthony Elanga.
Teden Mengi was his usual faultless self but three other players stood out in a 2-1 win against Everton.
Galbraith controlled the first half for United and scored the late penalty to win the match. He’s a wonderful player to watch. His game is simple but effective and entertaining. Galbraith is disciplined and stays in that deep midfield role where he can dictate the tempo of the game and pick out runs from the forward line.
His passing was consistently neat and tidy throughout the game. With Dylan Levitt and James Garner away on loan, more performances like this from Galbraith will aid his first-team chances.
Hugill is only recently turned 17 but his half-time introduction changed the game for United.
Signed from Sunderland in the summer, Hugill has scored three goals in his first three Premier League 2 games and assisted Anthony Elanga’s equaliser on Friday night. He’s an efficient player, that much is clear. More importantly, though, that goalscoring record is no fluke and it’s obvious in games that Hugill is talented. His movement and decision-making is good and that’s supported by a high level of finishing. All of that was in play in Friday’s second half.
Another summer signing, Fernandes looks a good one. Real Madrid wanted to keep the left-back but he chose United. His attacking play is good down that left flank and a couple of teasing crosses were sent in. In defence, his timing of the tackle looked good and positioning fine.
Fernandes plays with a natural calmness which makes it clear that he’s a little further ahead in his development than some of his teammates. Were this many other clubs, you’d expect Fernandes to go into the first team and get a chance soon. But competition is fierce at United and he’ll need to really impress for the under-23s before that happens. Ahead of him, he’s got both Luke Shaw and Alex Telles too.
It must also be said that Brandon Williams showed exactly why he’s a first team player. His performance was exemplary and included a goalline clearance and winning a penalty.