Hannibal would have been in many Manchester United fans’ preferred line up to face Arsenal today.

The Tunisian had a lovely cameo at Liverpool which was praised for showing some spirit which was previously lacking among the starters.

Ralf Rangnick felt differently ahead of this weekend, dropping Hannibal back down to the under-23s.

He featured last night at Old Trafford on Friday night as United’s under-23s took on Arsenal, drawing 1-1.

Manchester United Training Session
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Hannibal’s teammate Noam Emeran scored United’s goal, after an assist from Shola Shoretire.

If he was disappointed to be back in the under-23s, after training with the first team 24 hours earlier, Hannibal didn’t show it.

He sent a message after the game, saying he had to keep positive and his chance would come, with a big smile.

Moments of magic

If this was a challenge to Hannibal and his temperament, after Tuesday night, he passed it with flying colours.

He did not sulk and was happy to be playing at Old Trafford, and was heavily involved as United controlled the game.

In the first half he set off an excellent team move with a backheel, which led to United having two shots saved.

In the second half his highlight was a mazy solo run when he skipped past four players, into the box, before passing to D’Mani Mellor, who saw his shot blocked.

This was a night which suggested Hannibal could be a useful first team player for United, and this chance may come with Paul Pogba out injured for the season.

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