Manchester United fans were impressed with Joe Riley‘s stellar performance at left-back in the 5-1 win over FC Midtjylland on Thursday night in the Europa League.
The youngster was making his first Old Trafford appearance and first senior start after impressing in the FA Cup win over Shrewsbury last Monday.
And, following an energetic, gritty and tidy performance, Man United fans were delighted with the 19-year-old’s display:
Impressed by Riley. Great energy and determination. Doesn't look that fatigued, either. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) February 25, 2016
Well played @joeriley49. Attention will be on Rashford but Riley has been spot on. Taken U21 form into the first team
— Doron Salomon (@DoronSalomon) February 25, 2016
Been so impressed with Varela and Riley in the last two games, they just don't seem fazed at all, bombing up and down the flanks all night.
— Amy Watson (@amywaatson) February 25, 2016
Sub Rojo for Riley well done lad great debut
— Red Army! (@RedorDead07) February 25, 2016
Riley was amazing as well. Who needs world class high paid players when your academy plays better than the first team #mufc
— Reem Obeid (@reemobeid17) February 25, 2016
The life of Riley? Pretty good right now ?
— James (@writtenoff_mufc) February 25, 2016
While United’s season has somewhat disintegrated, the burgeoning rise of youngsters making a name for themselves, offering some hope to dejected fans for a brighter future, has been a constant source of encouragement.
The full-back crisis at Old Trafford has reached levels of absurd, with Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian, Antonio Valencia and even fellow youngster Cameron Borthwick-Jackson suffering injuries this season. Credit should go to the youth set-up, who seem unceasing in their ability to churn out players with the confidence and energy to thrive in this United team.
Such was the case with Riley tonight; the Blackpool-born youngster not only did a good job nullifying the visitors’ attack, but offered efficiency and pace down the left flank, linking up well with the electrifying Memphis Depay on several occasions to cause havoc.