Tim Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanzebe both played 90 minutes in Manchester United Under 23’s 3-2 win against Stoke City yesterday.
Fosu-Mensah has been recovering from cruciate ligament surgery after an injury sustained while playing on loan for Fulham in April 2019. It was his second run out for the Under 23’s, having played an hour against Newcastle in January before aggravating the injury and needing another month’s rehabilitation.
Tuanzebe has had an injury-plagued season, having missed a run of games after damaging a hip in the warm-up against Liverpool in October and then pulling a hamstring against Everton in December.
Both players were instrumental in the Academy side’s victory. Fosu-Mensah, playing at right back, provided an assist for an Angel Gomes tap-in following an excellent overlapping run. Tuanzebe made a crucial clearance off the line at the death to save the three points for Neil Wood’s men.
But once again it was midfield starlet James Garner who stole all the headlines. The 18-year-old scored two goals – a headed effort from a Tahith Chong cross and an exquisite finish following a delightful chip from Angel Gomes.
Garner has now scored an impressive 9 goals in 12 games for the Under 23s this season.
The Potters fought back in the second half with headers from Will Forrester and Cameron McJannet, but the Reds held on having done enough damage in the first half. Axel Tuanzebe and Tim Fosu-Mensah made successful returns from injury. pic.twitter.com/LlKW8u18Hl
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 2, 2020
Chong and Gomes also played well in an excellent first half attacking performance for the Reds. Chong was unlucky to be denied a penalty after being pulled down when through on goal.
Having been 3-0 up, United faded badly in the second half, when Will Forester exploited a gap between Fosu-Mensah and Tuanzebe to score Stoke’s first and former United man Mame Diouf got a touch off a Cameron McJannet shot to bring the score back to 3-2.
The Red Devils in the end could consider themselves lucky to hold on for the win, with Stoke having three goals disallowed for offside, one after a bad mistake by Dylan Levitt and another appearing to have been a poor decision by the assistant referee.
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