Facundo Pellistri

Pellistri impresses in first United game

Manchester United's new winger Facundo Pellistri caught the eye on his introduction to English football on Friday night, completing 90 minutes for the club's Under-23 side against Everton.

The energetic 18-year-old, who was acquired from Penarol in his native Uruguay earlier this month, operated mainly on the right of a front three for Neil Wood's side but seemingly had the licence to roam as he enjoyed getting on the ball in more central areas to good effect.

It was from there, in the middle of the penalty area, that Pellistri almost put United ahead in the 25th minute with a well-struck shot from Shola Shoretire's left-wing pull-back, but Everton goalkeeper Joao Virginia stuck out a leg and a dream debut goal was denied.
The Uruguayan's willingness to receive possession and drive at the opposition defence led to him being on the end of some robust challenges and he was probably the most fouled player on the pitch. One wince-inducing tackle in particular, from Con Ouzounidis, temporarily left Pellistri in a heap but encouragingly he was soon back on his feet and looking for the ball once again.

Facundo's Australian assailant escaped punishment but two other Everton players, Beni Baningime and substitute Seb Quirk, were both booked for bringing him down in separate incidents.
“It was 'welcome to England!'”
quipped Wood, the United Under-23s coach, in his post-match interview. 

“But it was great for him to get 90 minutes on the pitch and a first taste of English football. I'm sure he can build from this experience.”

Playing on the right, Pellistri often linked up with Brandon Williams, who was deployed as a wing-back on that flank and had a lively 90 minutes himself with a goal-line clearance and later the attack which earned Ethan Galbraith's match-winning penalty. Meanwhile, another first-team defender, Marcos Rojo, enjoyed a useful first-half run-out.

Speaking of his new team-mate, Williams said: 
“Facundo's done very well since coming in. He doesn't speak that much English but he's learning.

He'll kick on from this and I'll be here to help him if I can. I enjoyed playing with him.


Pellistri wore the no.10 shirt against Everton, but will revert to his squad number of 28 when he makes his senior Reds debut - an occasion that can't be too far away on this evening's evidence.

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