Manchester United went into Wednesday’s game against Young Boys with very little to play for. Despite losing to the Swiss side in the reverse fixture, revenge was the last thing on the minds of the Reds.
This was because Ralf Rangnick’s side had already booked their place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League and were already guaranteed group winners.
This afforded the German manager the chance to rest several of his key players. In fact, none of the players who started against Crystal Palace at the weekend even made the bench.
In the end, an experimental Manchester United side was held to a 1-1 draw by Young Boys, with Mason Greenwood’s fantastic opener being canceled out by a belter from Fabian Rieder.
Van De Beek endures disappointing night
Several fringe players and others from the Manchester United academy were given the nod to start in Wednesday’s dead rubber game against Young Boys.
Donny van de Beek was among those who started and played the full 90 minutes. However, the Dutchman was disappointing on the night. He failed to impose himself in the middle of the park and it was his sloppy passing that lead to Rieder’s equalizer in the 42nd minute.
Many Manchester United fans were critical of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for failing to use Van De Beek and rightly so. However, the midfielder now has the chance to impress the new manager and justify why he deserves to play more.
Fred and Scott McTominay are currently Rangnick’s first-choice midfield pairing and, on the evidence of Van De Beek’s latest performance, it’s fair to say the German is better off sticking with the aforementioned duo.
Rangnick gives game time to Manchester United’s academy lads
Manchester United’s line-up against Young Boys sent a clear message that this was not a game that the Reds were taking very seriously.
Rangnick decided to give game time to the club’s academy boys. Eleven of the Reds’ 18-man squad came from the club’s academy, with six making their debuts on Wednesday.
The team started well but the lack of experience was evident as the game wore on. The fact that these kids still managed to hold their own, though, was a big positive.
“We were too deep, we sent several pressing invitations including the goal we conceded,” Rangnick admitted after the game, as quoted by Manutd.com.
“In the second half, it could have been in the end 4-4, we had another great opportunity by Anthony Elanga, who was one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but they also had quite a few opportunities.”
“It was a bit erratic in the second half, but I still believe it was the right decision to give some of those young players the opportunity to play. Tom Heaton made his debut for Manchester United. Also, for quite a few of the experienced players, it was important to get game-time.”
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It was a good exercise for Manchester United’s academy players and the experience gained could prove valuable in their future careers.