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Ratings: Shaw and Young return but Tuanzebe steals the show

Manchester United’s reserves had to settle for a 1-1 draw with a stubborn Swansea side after Indy Boonen cancelled out Kenji Gorré’s opener. Ricky Sbragia’s men were the dominant force throughout the first half, keeping possession impressively while the Swans held tight and congested midfield.

Demetri Mitchell and Ashley Young, arguably fullbacks playing as wingers, were faced with the difficulty of overcoming two fullbacks who sat very deep, and the result was a lack of service for Joshua Bohui up top. As the opposition looked to break on the counter, United were lucky that Axel Tuanzebe was snuffing out attacks at the heart of defence, using his pace and calmness to prevent one-v-ones and carrying the ball into midfield with authority.

However, a quick counter early in the second half allowed former United youth player Gorré to turn Matthew Olusunde and fire a shot between the American and Tyrell Warren to open the match. United took far too long to respond, but eventually, a great moment from Mitchell helped Scott McTominay set up Boonen for the equalizer.

The match will be noted for Luke Shaw and Ashley Young’s first appearance of the season, indicating that they could be back to fitness and angling for first team eligibility. Both players played sixty minutes, meaning they aren’t likely to be able to start a senior match off the bat. However, it was good to see them back on the pitch playing football.

Goals: Indy Boonen 79′

Manchester United: J. Pereira; Olosunde, Williams (Warren 3′), Tuanzebe, Shaw (Riley 58′); Willock, McTominay; Young (Kehinde 58′), Boonen, Mitchell; Bohui

Substitutes Not Used: Richardson, Hamilton

Manchester United

40 Joel Castro Pereira

Solid in goal, distributed the ball well and claimed crosses when needed. Helpless for Gorré’s wonder-strike.

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Matthew Olosunde

Struggled and allowed Gorré the opening to strike early in the second half, also struggled in possession in the first half but grew into the match and became more of a threat later.

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Ro-Shaun Williams

Picked up an injury in the first minute of the match. Looked very worrying as he took an elbow to the head, hopefully, nothing too serious. Replaced by Warren.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

Excellent performance from Tuanzebe, who is clearly above this level. His already impressive physicality and blistering pace was aided by his excellent positioning, awareness of danger, and ability to carry the ball out of defence and make contributions.

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23 Luke Shaw

Great to see Shaw back, and he looked solid on the left flank, picking his moments to get forward while keeping the left side locked. In a more open match, he would be expected to show that aggressive drive that Mourinho seemed to force out of him late last season. Replaced by Riley.

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Matty Willock

Impressed more in phases of possession than McTominay, as he quietly dictated the play. United struggled to break Swansea down and, if he wanted to improve further, Willock could work more to aid the efforts and make a telling contribution.

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39 Scott McTominay

Breaking into the box, McTominay’s physicality had the same effectiveness as pre-season as he created Boonen’s goal with excellent chest control. He could definitely become a Mourinho favourite considering his towering height and increasing ability to utilize it.

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18 Ashley Young

Improved throughout the match, but seemed to pick up the ball and not know how to progress from the right-wing. He has always been better from the left, so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because he looked very intent to work hard.

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Indy Boonen

Struggled to get involved but took his goal when the time came. Showed the same clinical nature that Henrikh Mkhitaryan displayed for the first team against Swansea on the weekend.

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35 Demetri Mitchell

Struggled with build-up play early in the match but grew into the situation, and looked the part again from left-back. Loses points for missing his penalty, but it’s a one-off for a player who almost always scores from the spot.

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Joshua Bohui

Wasn’t involved much in the game but used the ball well when the opportunities did come. Won the penalty for Mitchell with a moment of energy and awareness of the opposition goalkeeper.

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Substitutes

Tyrell Warren

Replaced Williams. Could’ve done more for Gorré’s goal, but ultimately did what was expected of him.

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Joe Riley

Replaced Shaw. Looked slightly better than Young, but not enough to influence the proceedings of the match.

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Tosin Kehinde

Replaced Young. Wasn’t able to influence the match in half an hour, but again, Swansea’s defence was very narrow centrally and he was cutting in from the left.

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Written by Aaron Moniz

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