Donny van de Beek’s goal on his debut was the only bright spot for Manchester United on opening day.
His opportunistic strike threatened to spark a comeback for United against Crystal Palace, but it ended up as a mere consolation goal.
Nonetheless it was encouraging to see the new signing make an early impact.
This was a game where United fans needed a moment of positivity to cling onto, amid a miserable 3-1 defeat.
Van de Beek sent a message to supporters on social media after the game.
Van de Beek fulfilled his end of the bargain. He was as advertised, a smart player with predatory interests inside the penalty box.
This was the first of many goals he will score for United over the course of his career.
It is just a shame he will look back on his debut as a disappointing day, rather than really being able to savour it.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had good words to say about the new signing after the match.
He told the club website: “He has a great attitude and energy, one of the better ones I know for finding space and sniffing out space.
“We need that because when we got round them – not often enough – and put crosses in, there were not enough bodies in the box and he gave us that.”
Van de Beek at least showed what some fresh energy can bring to this team.
He probably should have started the game, with Paul Pogba out of sorts, especially in the second half.
The Dutchman could make his first start away at Luton in midweek, then it will become a real talking point as to whether he should start for United against Brighton the following weekend.
- Charlie McNeill scores brace on competitive under-18s debut as Noam Emeran shines
- Joel Pereira’s latest loan spell is doing him no favours so far
- Manchester United’s three best players in U23 win over Everton
- Manchester United fans react to Facundo Pellistri’s under-23s debut
- Tuanzebe could prove Manchester United don’t need Upamecano when they clash
- Facundo Pellistri features as Manchester United U23s secure dramatic late win
- Predicted Manchester United XI v Chelsea
- United won’t break the bank to keep Paul Pogba
- Manchester United could finally get to start defensive trio together this weekend