Manchester United youngster Facundo Pellistri dominated the man of the match vote against Athletic Bilbao.

Manchester United needed a last minute equaliser from Facundo Pellistri against Athletic Bilbao, to avoid ending pre-season with a loss.

The eighth game of pre-season was a classic ‘warm-up friendly’ rather than an exhibition. United sent a second string to Dublin, to the disappointment of supporters who had paid ticket prices expecting to see a first team game.

The game was not the greatest. Jadon Sancho missed an early chance to give United the lead, and that was as close as United came in the first half. A really poor defensive error from Harry Maguire was described by Erik ten Hag as ‘stupid‘.

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Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images

Man of the match v Athletic Bilbao

The second half was in danger of drifting out into a boring affair, with Bilbao defending their lead and United lacking the cutting edge to break them down.

A red card to Aitor Paredes reduced them to 10 men, sparking a tactical shift from United, before Pellistri’s last gasp equaliser.

To be fair to Harry Maguire, he ended up providing the assist for Pellistri’s goal, winning a header 25 yards out which presented Pellistri with a superb opportunity, and he seized his chance. The game ended 1-1, a fair result, and one both teams could be reasonably happy with.

Manchester United fans voted for the man of the match after the game, and there was a resounding winner.

It was perhaps notable that Maguire picked up a handful of votes, and he did deserve credit for the way he bounced back after a bad first half. He kept going and showed character, but ultimately, it won’t change his downward trajectory at the club.

The former captain is uncertain to still be a Manchester United player when the transfer window ends. Facundo Pellistri may also be out too, leaving on loan.

This match demonstrated his talent is too bright to be warming the bench or sitting in the stands each week. He needs to play and develop, and have a strong season to showcase his credentials.

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