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Stanley, Elanga and Ercolani – Man United’s best players as U23’s lose season opener

Manchester United U23’s began their Premier League 2 campaign against Leicester City marking their return to the Division 1.

As seen from the line-up, Mengi who featured for Manchester United on Saturday’s friendly against Aston Villa is missing. Noticeable absentees were Puigmal, Bejger and Haygarth. Ethan Laird was also absent due to an injury sustained in the match the Reserves played against Salford City.

The match didn’t end how United expected to as the performance was poor with the players showing signs of insecurity especially when going forward. Here are the player ratings for tonight’s defeat against Leicester City U23’s:

Ondrej Mastny – Leicester had three clear chances in the first half where Mastny seemed beaten with not much he could do on those occasions, but yet again the post saved him. The keeper seemed calm and made two good saves by the end of the first half. However, was caught out of position and conceded two goals. 6

Luca Ercolani – United’s best player in the first half alongside Bernard. While being careful at the back, his movement on the right-hand side throughout the game has been fantastic and in the early minutes of the game, the Italian even made a great run down the middle. Barely set a foot on the wrong. An unfamiliar position for him, but adapted pretty well. Again brilliant in the second-half, but things didn’t go well for United overall. 8

William Fish – Cautious and showed good signs, two good interceptions. Should have done better in other occasions, leaving a bit of space behind, giving Leicester the opportunity to get easily in the final third. Things didn’t go well for him in the second-half as the game got problematic. Needs to work on his positioning. 7

Di’Shon Bernard – During the first half made four incredible blocks that could have easily given Leicester the lead. Looked mature and key to his game was the calmness surrounding him especially in the first 30 minutes as Leicester had possession and were all over United’s half. As an attempt to clear the ball ended in Garner’s shoulder setting up Leicester’s lead. Signs of leadership, but unlucky at times. 7

Martin Svidersky – An unfamiliar position for him on his U23’s debut, yet didn’t seem much bothered by this fact and gave his best. A great play between him and Elanga by the end of the first half could have given United the lead. Again brilliant moves in the second half alongside Elanga. 7

James Garner – A bit on the shadow in the first minutes of the game, but gained control afterwards. The English had a good chance to score from outside the box in area where we have seen him score beautiful goals, but wasn’t meant to. Unlucky to be in front of that attempt to ball clearance from Bernard. His deflection set Leicester’s goal. Frustration grew as the game passed by, seemed a bit nervous. Was brought down in the penalty area, but the referee said no. 7

Ethan Galbraith – The composure and the ball movement is quite impressive whenever he had the ball, however was quieter than usual and that was noted in United’s sloppy game in midfield in the first-half. Raised the level of his game during the second half and clearly changed the movement of the game, but in vain. Something just didn’t click and Wood needs to work on it.   7

Connor Stanley – His movement seemed to bother Leicester players quite a lot and suffered a challenge from Renghba, a potential red card on the Leicester player. Great set up on Helm, but didn’t end in the back of the net. Came off in the 65th minute for Shoretire and clearly Neil Wood could count on him for this position. One of United’s most dangerous players. 8

Hannibal Mejbri – Those watching might have been a bit disappointed with Mejbri as he was caught on the ball several times in dangerous areas where it could have caused major troubles to United. His game changed a bit when United was on the ball. Disappointing game overall, after being on the supporters’ mentions after the Salford game. Must work on possession. 6

Anthony Elanga – United’s most dangerous player in both halves, had three brilliant chances, but the keeper had other ideas in mind. Incredibly unlucky, continues to exploit that left wing in a brilliant way. It’s frustrating how he didn’t manage to score and once again it was showed that United depend on him for creativity. Big things expected after this game and probably key to a good run with the U23’s. 8

Mark Helm – United’s U23’s lack of a striker means that Helm would play upfront for United, but it didn’t really work. The player wasn’t making up for it and he was bothered by the lack of the ball in his feet. Certainly Butt and Wood need to find a solution as Helm cannot be constantly used in that position. 6

Shola Shoretire – Explored his chances within the Leicester half, but nothing was working for the team as a whole. Good chances for the future. It’s only his first involvement so more is needed from him. 7

Read more: Solskjaer challenges Manchester United youth players

More Stories Anthony Elanga Connor Stanley Dishon Bernard Ethan Galbraith Hannibal Mejbri James Garner Leicester City Luca Ercolani Manchester United Mark Helm Martin Svidersky Shola Shoretire William Fish

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