Hannibal Mejbri made his Manchester United under-23 debut last night in a 4-1 defeat to Aston Villa.

Mejbri came off the bench in unenviable circumstances with United 4-0 down and made a quick impression.

He played for the final 20 minutes and his desire to get stuck in helped lift the energy of a United side which had threaten to flag. United won the second half, with Aliou Traore on the scoresheet.

This was just Mejbri’s third appearance for United at all levels since joining up from Monaco in the summer, for a fee of £9 million.

Mejbri had previously made two under-18 appearances, providing two assists in the 3-2 loss to Everton at the weekend. He is still waiting for his first win in United colours.

(Photo by Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images)

What went wrong for the under-23s?

This was the under-23s first loss of the season and it was down to a combination of factors.

United’s team more closely resembled an under-18 side, with players including James Garner being rested for this week’s Carabao Cup clash. Brandon Williams was unavailable due to suspension and Dylan Levitt was also absent.

 

This under strength side led to Mejbri being included on the bench, rewarding him for his performance at the weekend.

Villa fielded team which included several players who have had loan spells in the Football League, and goalkeeper Orjan Nyland was in their first team last season.

A poor refereeing decision harshly sent off Di’Shon Bernard in the first half, leaving United up against it away from home.

Mejbri helped lift United in the second half and come away from the game with some optimism. These results happen sometimes at youth level, and they can be character building.

Reaction

United fans were very impressed with Mejbri’s contribution. Have the club signed a potential star? Let’s hope so…

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