Manchester United’s under-21 side made a winning start to 2023 with a victory away at Fulham.

United scored two first half goals through Shola Shoretire and Joe Hugill, and held out to win 2-1, with Fulham netting their goal in the second half.

This was just United’s second league victory of the season, after an inconsistent start to 2022/23.

With the last league game taking place in early November, this was an important chance for United’s under-21 side to reset.

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Manchester United v v PSV Eindhoven: Premier League International Cup
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Mateo Mejia contributes assist

One of the several noteworthy aspects of United’s victory was the performance of Mateo Mejia, whose stint at Old Trafford has been a stop-start one due to injury.

Mejia was making his first league appearance for the under-21s since August. He had last month been in action for Colombia’s under-20 side after being called up for the first time, and then featured in United’s final 21 game of December against PSV.

Sporting a new look with a bleached blond haircut, Mejia made sure he stood out on the pitch by setting up United’s opening goal.

It was his powerful diagonal ball into the box which was touched in by Shola Shoretire to open the scoring. This was Mejia’s second assist in just three appearances this season.

Mejia could feature for Colombia later in January at the Under-20 South American Championships. This was a good way to warm up.

Shoretire and Hugill on target

Shola Shoretire may have a chance to progress up to the first team in the coming months, and he will have been delighted to score the first goal of 2023 for the under-21s. He is now on six goals for the season.

Joe Hugill scored United’s second after a cross from Bjorn Hardley, who was playing at left-back. Hugill took a touch, turned, and fired it low into the net to double United’s lead.

Injury also delayed Hugill’s start to the season, this was his second goal. The young striker has a creditable 34 in 52 appearances for United’s academy, and at 19, is an outside bet for a loan move this month.

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