Amad Diallo stole the show on Friday night as Manchester United’s under-23 side put on a show in a 6-4 win over Blackburn.
United were 4-2 down before the team’s attacking strength took over, with Diallo providing three assists.
Diallo was able to shine thanks to United’s varied and talented front four, also consisting of Joe Hugill, hat-trick hero Shola Shoretire and Hannibal Mejbri.
Mejbri was instrumental in United’s victory. He scored United’s first goal, an impressive individual strike in which he cut into the penalty box from the right and lashed the ball across the goalkeeper into the net.
His contribution to United’s second goal was even more impressive. Receiving the ball from deep, he played a long, low pass through the Rovers defence to find Diallo. The winger was able to take a touch and put in a low cross for Shoretire to score first time.
Former United trainee Paul McShane was a guest analyst for MUTV and he spoke highly of Mejbri’s pass at half-time.
McShane said: “World class, it was a world-class pass. It was a diagonal pass into Diallo measured to perfection.”
Passing from deep is part of the skillset which makes Mejbri such a uniquely talented player.
Even though he does much of his damage in the final third like his impressive goal, he is just as capable of contributing game changing moments when he drops back to the halfway line or even inside his own half.
His assist for Anthony Elanga two games ago came from a similarly deep position to unleash a counter attack.
When United play with quality wingers like Elanga and Diallo, who have not been able to play together yet due to Elanga’s injury, it adds a new dimension to Mejbri’s game.
Mejbri has been a regular at under-23 level this season and has adjusted well. He only turned 18 last month.
This season so far he has scored three goals and has a team leading six assists (double the number of his nearest United teammates).
First team chances have been hard to come by for under-23 players this season, but Mejbri is continuing to develop well. If he keeps on progressing as he has been, then he will get his opportunity eventually.
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