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Man Utd beating Astana in Europa League shows one thing about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad | Football | Sport


Before Manchester United’s Europa League tie with Astana, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer issued a rallying cry.

Now was the time to make your mark. With the first team failing to get going in the Premier League – winning just two of their first five matches – this was the youngsters’ chance to prove they can cut it.

Manchester United decided to go young for the showdown, throwing Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes into the mix against the minnows from Kazakhstan.

Experienced heads Marcus Rashford, Nemanja Matic, Phil Jones and Sergio Romero were also included for the sake of balance.

United went into the game expected to blow their opponents away, regardless of who started.

But it was a drab and turgid display from Solskjaer’s side showing the squad simply isn’t deep enough to challenge for major honours – despite Greenwood’s late winner.

Prior to the contest, United fans were excited.

Finally, it was a chance to see what the likes of Greenwood, Chong and Gomes were all about.

But the latter duo did nothing to force their way into Solskjaer’s thinking for the club’s upcoming match with West Ham on Sunday.

Greenwood, at least, looked sharp. He looked the deadliest of the trio and got his reward in the match’s closing stages, finding the net with a cute finish.

Gomes was anonymous. Much has been made of Jesse Lingard’s issues in the No 10 position but his young replacement looked lost for ideas as well.

Chong had his moments, sometimes scaring Astana from the right of the Red Devils’ attack.

But he, like his fellow United youngsters, looked out of his depth.

In the trio’s defence, however, nobody else on the pitch looked comfortable. The rest of the team, goalkeeper Romero aside, was similarly abysmal.

Diogo Dalot, certainly, displayed none of the impressive attacking capabilities he showed last season.

Matic must surely go. The Serbia international was so slow he may as well have been wearing boots made out of lead.

Rashford was the only United regular unleashed against Astana.

But the England international, like the rest of his team-mates, looked insipid on a difficult night at Old Trafford.

If this is what United have in reserve, then god help them.

Solskjaer has an almighty mission on his hands and that was evident during the Europa League tie.

United’s squad isn’t good enough. And that’s the main talking point from an otherwise forgettable evening at Old Trafford.



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