Manchester United’s under-23 team were beaten 5-3 at Liverpool on Friday night.
Despite the defeat, United’s second in as many games, this was a night which can be chalked up as progress when it comes to developing players.
Here is a look at five milestone moments which demonstrate how the young team is growing…
Anthony Elanga’s first under-23 goal
Anthony Elanga has scored for the under-23s in a friendly match, and for the under-21s against Salford.
This was the first time he has officially netted in a competitive under-23 game.
Elanga came close to netting a second too, denied by a late save.
He scored seven times for the under-18s last season and this campaign he has been challenged to step up. So far he is doing just that.
Charlie Wellens’ first under-23 start and goal
Like Elanga, Charlie Wellens was on the scoresheet in the 6-0 win over Salford a fortnight ago for the under-21s.
This was his first appearance of the season for the under-23s after featuring for the 18s a week earlier.
Wellens got caught in possession for United’s first goal, which was a learning moment for him, before redeeming himself with a late strike.
Shola Shoretire’s first under-23 start
Young winger Shola Shoretire is a player who United are very excited about.
At just 16-years-old, it says a lot about his talent that he is part of the under-23 set up already.
He made his first under-23 start, although it didn’t end well, as he was sent off for pushing over an opponent.
Joe Hugill’s first under-23 appearance
Joe Hugill was signed from Sunderland in the summer and netted a brace on his debut for the under-18s a week ago.
This earned him a quick promotion and an early injury to Mark Helm saw him brought on as a substitute and play for an hour.
He came close to scoring in the second half too. This was a good sign that he will be involved heavily with the under-23s this season.
First goal and assist in same under-23 game for Hannibal Mejbri
Once again discounting the EFL Trophy match against Salford, this was the first under-23 league match in which Hannibal Mejbri scored and provided an assist in the same game for United.
For good measure Mejbri provided two assists in the defeat as well as scoring an impressive goal.
The Frenchman is just 17 and his goal was a particularly impressive one from the edge of the box.
He looks a natural at this level and could have ended up with a third assist if Elanga had scored his late effort.
Lukasz Bejger’s first start
The game saw a first start for Lukasz Bejger at right-back at under-23 level.
Bejger was a regular for United’s under-18 side last season, and he got a chance to step up here with Ethan Laird still out injured.
The game was a tough one for United’s young defence, but Bejger will be better for it.
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