Mason Greenwood and Danny Welbeck.

Academy products make their mark again

Tuesday 06 April 2021 15:08

All three scorers in Sunday's game were Manchester United Academy graduates as Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood secured a comeback victory after Danny Welbeck's first-half opener for Brighton & Hove Albion.

When United beat the same opposition 3-1, back in November 2019, it was the first time three Academy products had scored for United in the same game for 17 years. Since then, though, it's happened on five occasions to illustrate a wider trend under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Only two weeks after Andreas Pereira, Scott McTominay and Rashford scored to beat Brighton, United achieved the same feat in a 3-3 draw against Sheffield United; Brandon Williams, Greenwood and Rashford all found the net at Bramall Lane in one of the season's most dramatic games.

Highlights: United 2 Brighton 1 Video

Highlights: United 2 Brighton 1

Goals from Rashford and Greenwood helped United recover from an early setback against Brighton in April 2021...

When United returned after last season's enforced break, Greenwood and Rashford both got on the scoresheet again against Bournemouth while Joshua King, who joined United aged 16 before leaving in 2013, netted for the away side.

The record continued to pick up pace when United came from behind against West Ham United at the London Stadium in December last year. Once again, it was the dynamic duo of Rashford and Greenwood who grabbed two of the goals, with Paul Pogba having scored the first. That means United have had three Academy graduates score in the same game on five occasions in the last 18 months - albeit two of those games included goals for the ex-Reds returning to Old Trafford - having not previously done so since 2002.

Back in 2002, it was David Beckham (2), Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes who netted in a 5-3 away win against West Ham. The only other United goal in the game came from current manager Solskjaer.

The same three players actually achieved the feat three times. Five years prior, another Beckham brace in London helped United beat Wimbledon 5-2. A year before that, the trio - although this time Scholes scored the double - all contributed in a 6-0 away win at Bolton Wanderers' Burnden Park.

The only other instance in which this has happened also came in 1996 when Giggs, Scholes and Beckham struck at home to Nottingham Forest.

It is worth noting that it has been a more common occurrence outside of the Premier League, as detailed in our article from 2019.

United drew 3-3 at Sheffield United last season in an absolute cracker.
Having looked through the record books, it seems this is also only the second Premier League game where both teams have scored and all the goalscorers have been ex-United Academy players.

In 2001, Beckham and Giggs scored for United in a 2-2 draw away to Blackburn Rovers. The home side's goals came from a Beckham own goal and Keith Gillespie, who won the 1992 FA Youth Cup with United.

Going back into pre-Premier League history, this was of course a more regular achievement, most commonly during the era of the Busby Babes when the vast majority of United's goals was finished off by homegrown products.

David Beckham scored with this majestic strike in the 5-3 win at West Ham in 2002.

05/12/20: West Ham (A) 3-1 - Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford.
24/11/19: Sheffield United (A) 3-3 - Brandon Williams, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford.
10/11/19: Brighton (H) 3-1 - Andreas Pereira, Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford.
16/03/02: West Ham (A) 5-3 - David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes.
 22/11/97: Wimbledon (A) 5-2 - Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Paul Scholes.
28/04/96: Nottingham Forest (H) 5-0  - Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs.
25/02/96: Bolton Wanderers (A) 6-0  - David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt.