“I don’t know if it’s real or I’m dreaming.”
That was the reaction of 18-year-old Alejandro Garnacho after making his full Manchester United debut against Police Chief Tiraspol last week.
The teenager received a standing ovation from much of Old Trafford when he was substituted late in the 3-0 win. Seven days later, United fans who come to watch their team face Real Sociedad will find it even harder to hide their excitement.
Although Garnacho’s winning goal in San Sebastian wasn’t enough for United to win the Europa League group stage, the young Argentinian produced another promising performance in his second opener. – against opponents much better.
His mastery of control and a good finish in the 17th minute proved his quality in the third of the final, while his confidence in possession, his willingness to approach opponents and his skills Unpredictability has given United another dimension forward.
“I’m really happy and I hope he can carry on,” said Ten Hag of Garnacho, who is currently the club’s youngest non-British goalscorer in European competition.
He may be a raw talent, but early signs suggest he has the potential to become a world-class winger. Under Ten Hag’s guidance, that outcome was a distinct possibility.
Takehiro Tomiyasu angrily pulled his shirt over his head. The Japan full-back was Arsenal’s latest substitute against Zurich but he won’t last long on the pitch, being replaced by Cedric Soares due to a muscle injury, which adds to concerns that Coach Mikel Arteta is facing.
Arsenal are at the top of the Premier League table and they are close to the top of the table in the Europa League, but his squad is currently under strain. For much of the opening season this season, the Spaniard has had a starting line-up you can almost read from memory, but after making seven changes ahead of the crucial London derby on Sunday, he has to pick up a walking injury again for Chelsea.
Bukayo Saka’s return to a cameo role in the second half was welcome as needed, given Arsenal’s struggle and failure to put together a dreaded but sleep-restricted Zurich. Tierney’s goal is a great one and deserves to be won in any game and avoiding the two extra games in the playoffs will delight Arteta the most.
Fabio Vieira impressed in the opening period, and should have been in the lead for Arsenal, with his three shots yielding an early xG performance of 0.35. He also completed three key passes and had five touches in the Zurich penalty area.
He won the ball in defense three times, one of which was in the third half of the final. The Portuguese was involved in 8 attempts by the Gunners tonight (4 shots, 4 chances created). It was a dynamic performance that will give Arteta hope that there will be depth to compete on multiple fronts as the season resumes after the World Cup.
There’s really nothing to play in Bucharest on Thursday night, for West Ham and FCSB.
The Hammers were assured of first, while the home team could not have done better last.
But the fact that David Moyes brought two teenage debutants, Divin Mubama and Oliver Scarles, brought some much needed life into the game.
The ecstasy on 18-year-old Mubama’s face when his header went wide of the net painted a picture of him scoring for his boyhood club that means something like this. how. Even when UEFA later scrapped it, awarding it as an own goal.
The forward, who joined the club as a left-back at the age of eight, is not alone in impressing.
Sixteen-year-old Scarles also stood out with her performances at left-back and almost set up Mubama a goal that could actually have been made in east London.
He has an insatiable desire to work for the team and has a dangerous left foot. Scarles regularly poses a threat at left-back and is incapable of scoring.
With five substitutes brought on, West Ham had nine academy graduates taking part in the match against FCSB. The future looks bright for the Hammers.