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Ratings: Manchester United 3-2 Derby County – Premier League 2 2016/17

In Manchester United U23’s first outing at Old Trafford of the season, they faced a newly promoted Derby County side who were yet to get any points in this Premier League 2 campaign. United started well and took the lead through Scott McTominay’s head after Josh Harrop’s cross. They were then pegged back in initially controversial circumstances as Charles Vernam headed scored although replays confirmed that the ball did indeed just cross the line despite Sadiq El Fitouri’s best efforts to clear. The second half brought a Josh Harrop goal from a penalty that he won himself however yet again, Derby, Vernam specifically, equalised, after a great delivery from wide right that the midfielder came onto to head past Kieran O’Hara. With Derby sitting back and looking to frustrate United, they looked set to collect their first points of the season, however, with minutes left, McTominay swiveled to get his second goal of the night and get his side all three points which on the balance of play they rightly deserved. Here’s how United’s youngsters rated for the match:

Goals: McTominay 16′, 85′, Harrop 67′

Manchester United: O’Hara; El Fitouri, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley; McTominay; Scott (Williams), Redmond (Olosunde), Harrop, Hamilton; Willock

Substitutes Not Used: Moutha-Sebtaoui, Chong, Doughty

Manchester United

45 Kieran O’Hara

He had large parts of the game where he little was called upon although he was unconvincing at times in claiming high balls. He tried and failed to cut out the ball at the near post which led to Derby's first goal. He did however, make two important saves late on to help his team get all three points.

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Sadiq El-Fitouri

He was better defensively than he has been previously and was reading the play well, for the most part, to intercept and win the ball early. He arguably could have done better to put off Vernam for Derby and Vernam's second goal but overall he did alright especially when acknowledging the fact that he was a constant presence on the right touch-line further up the pitch and put in some good deliveries.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

For the most part, he was defensively good and was great on the ball again although it was clear that he had more joy on the ground this game as both he and Poole struggled a little bit with their opponents' aerial threat. He might feel that he could have done better to stop Derby's second as he tried and failed to clear the cross in, although it would be harsh to call this a full-blown error.

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Regan Poole

He defended very well again and not only made some impressive tackles but then followed them up by consistently bringing the ball out expertly. He appears to be constantly improving on his skills with the ball and made several good passes from the back before making a few beautiful cross field balls when he was pushed up into defensive midfield near the end of the game.

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Joe Riley

As always, Joe Riley had a good game getting forward well and key played a key role in most of United's most productive moves going forward. He could have done better in pressing and preventing the cross for Derby's second but he effectively made up for it after his good work getting up the left-hand side eventually led to McTominay's winner.

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39 Scott McTominay

A good game for the midfielder as he continues to thrive in his favoured midfield spot. His first goal was a good header that went in off of the underside of the bar to get the lead. The movement that led to that goal was on display later on in the first half as he had two other good chances within two minutes of each other to extend United's lead. He'll likely think that he should have tucked away one of these attempts but he was getting in the right positions and a deflection away from him prevented another chance from a cross as he lurked dangerously in front of goal. He eventually scored again to grab the late winner much to the delight of himself and his teammates.

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Charlie Scott

Out wide again, Charlie Scott was defensively very good and was one of the key men involved in regaining possession for United as he was both tough in the tackle and smart positionally. He was tidy on the ball and didn't lose it much, however, he could have got forward more as his defensive mentality meant that he didn't always instinctively or eagerly get forward to join attacks but he put in a good shift.

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Devonte Redmond

It was a quiet game for Redmond and him never really got into the game. On the ball, he did little wrong but he was safe in possession for the most part and didn't do enough to win the ball back in midfield. He still needs to impose himself in matches more and on a more consistent basis as he is often a lacking presence on the pitch.

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46 Josh Harrop

It was a good evening's work for Josh Harrop as he continues to be the bright spark for United in the attack. After good work down the left-hand side, his wonderful cross onto McTominay's head led to United's first. He was influential in most of the side's build-up play and always looking to play the ball forwards. His slick and swift footwork led to him being fouled for the winning penalty which he took and scored himself to get the team's second. Following United's third, he harried very well and showed great fitness which is a testament to manager Warren Joyce's notoriously hard training.

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Ethan Hamilton

Much like in the last match against Villarreal, Hamilton found space well although he wasn't as effective in what he did with it as he was last time out. He got in behind well and could have assisted a goal for McTominay had he turned it in and his link-up play with Riley on the left caused problems constantly for Derby, especially in the first half. He was more careless with the ball in the second half and showed some signs of fatigue both on the ball in his decision-making and off the ball with his pressing.

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42 Matty Willock

At times it appeared to be quite a lethargic performance from Willock although he seemed to more of a reflection of his frustration as he tried to get on the ball and in behind in what is still an unfamiliar role to him upfront. He looked better towards the end of the match and almost appeared to have a second wind as his increasing involvement in play appeared to lift his spirits and energy levels and his passing was far crisper and once he was beginning to get found in his runs, he looked far more of a threat.

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Substitutes

Matthew Olosunde

On for Devonte Redmond. He had little time on the pitch before he played the ball through to Harrop for the penalty. He looked lively and he was a nuisance in the box which led to McTominay's winner which he'll also be claiming an assist for as the intent was there for the pass although it took a lucky nick of a Derby player on its way to Olosunde's intended target.

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Ro-Shaun Williams

On for Charlie Scott. He looked assured alongside Tuanzebe in what was only his second game back from a lengthy shoulder injury and his first back at Under-23 level, although it was the Under-21s the last time he played. He conceded a foul in a dangerous area after a rash challenge on the edge of the box which hinted at some rust still on his part and some of his passes were a bit off but on the whole he looked comfortable and ready to return to action fully soon and pick up where he left off to continue his rapid progression up the ranks.

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