Manchester United have featured at least one player from their youth system in every first team squad since 1937. The fabled Manchester United academy, that has seen some of football’s biggest superstars such as David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and more recently the likes of Gerard Pique and Paul Pogba is a testament to the club’s philosophy of developing the youth. This belief has paid dividends and beyond, with Manchester United’s academy players playing an instrumental role in some of the most historic victories in their history. While a match against Brighton behind closed doors at Old Trafford can hardly be considered ‘historic’, we did witness two academy graduates in Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood register on the scoresheet in a typical comeback win. Ironically, the goal scored by Brighton in the 13th minute was also by a former academy graduate Danny Welbeck. Comebacks and Manchester United are a tradition and the match against Brighton was a game of two halves where the visitors were the better side. The first half was particularly poor for the hosts who were thoroughly outperformed by Graham Potter’s side who could have had a penalty to double their lead. Despite the poor display, Manchester United did what they have done so often and showed grit, determination and a never say die attitude to secure all three points. A much improved second half saw Bruno Fernandes assist a perfectly weighted pass to Marcus Rashford, who found the back of the net. An 83rd minute winner by Mason Greenwood was the result of a mistimed volley by Paul Pogba and the 19 year old was first to react, finding the net with a diving header. With this win, Manchester United have registered eight Premier League wins after coming from behind, twice against Brighton in the Premier League. The question is begging to be asked, should Manchester United be doing better to not concede in the first place? Are these players underachieving by making it harder for themselves or overachieving with hard fought undeserved victories? Sir Alex Ferguson once said, “attack wins you games, defense wins you titles” and if this team is serious about competing for the highest honours again, they need to stop conceding so many goals.
Manchester United academy graduates seal comeback win against Brighton
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