Angel Gomes scored on his return for Manchester United’s under-23 side.
The youngster dropped down a level along with Tahith Chong after missing out on the trip to Partizan Belgrade. Mason Greenwood and Ethan Laird did travel to Serbia but didn’t play a minute, and they were both also in action for the under-23s away at Stoke.
Greenwood took just six minutes to open the scoring, converting a cross from Laird.
Stoke equalised before Angel Gomes put United ahead in the second half.
Largie Ramazani came off the bench to make it three and continue his excellent season.
Gomes suffered a late scare when he went down injured and looked in pain. He tried to come back on but was quickly substituted.
He sent a message after the game suggesting it was nothing at all serious.
It was really important for Gomes and co to get some gametime after a stop-start season with the first team.
His last game at club level was at Alkmaar on October 3, three weeks ago, although he did play twice for England’s under-20s in between.
Mason Greenwood missed the international fixtures with injury, so his return to action, with a goal, was welcome. He could have had another if he had not missed a penalty.
Next week United face Chelsea away in the Carabao Cup and there will be a number of young players involved. Each of Chong, Gomes, Greenwood and Ethan Laird will fancy their chances.
It would have been a big shame if an injury had cost Gomes his opportunity. Fortunately it does not appear as though it will.
Dylan Levitt also went off injured. His status heading into next week is unclear. United also have an under-21 game against Doncaster to factor in on Monday night in the EFL Trophy.
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