Young Reds impress Treble winners

Thursday 13 July 2023 12:33

Treble-winners Henning Berg and Ronny Johnsen feel Manchester United's wide players had a huge impact in the second half of Wednesday's 2-0 friendly victory over Leeds United.

Noam Emeran scored the opener and supplied the assist for Joe Hugill's clincher, as a youthful line-up after the break, following 11 substitutions, performed admirably against a Leeds side containing a number of senior players, such as Luke Ayling, Patrick Bamford and ex-Red Daniel James.

While Emeran's contribution was obvious - he was voted Man of the Match by the fans - Shola Shoretire's work down the left was also flagged up by two defenders who know what it takes to win trophies with United.

Henning Berg and Ronny Johnsen believe Shola Shoretire did well down his flank.

Erik ten Hag's side attacked with purpose down the flanks, exposing the Yorkshiremen's defence, and it was refreshing to see the youngsters grasp their opportunity at senior level.

Frenchman Emeran, 20, has progressed since joining from Amiens in 2019, while Shoretire has come through the ranks and spent the end of last season on loan at Bolton Wanderers.

"I thought the two wingers in the second half were good," Berg told MUTV. "I think they had a little bit of physicality and technicality. They wanted to show, got on the ball and made passes, made runs. 

"Yes, I'm sure they can have a good future."

Johnsen agreed with his former club and international colleague, adding: "It was nice to see them play. I think, when you see them play, the game progressed and you saw they got more confidence, as well in the passing. They managed to find each other quite well.

"As Henning said, both wingers did quite well. Emeran's sprints he did a couple of times - he wasn't afraid of his hamstrings!

"They did quite well and I enjoyed that one."

Emeran's cool finish to break the deadlock naturally garnered a lot of attention.

"It's good timing of the run," explained Berg. "Getting in between the left-back and the left-central defender. It's a cool finish. When you open up like that, you can go in the far corner or the left and he set himself well. He was precise, which was what was lacking in the second half, in the finishing, and this is a good finish."

Johnsen knows Emeran will be buzzing after his maiden goal for the senior side, in front of a packed crowd in Oslo.

"It was nice to play for the first team, with Erik ten Hag on the sidelines, watching him playing," he stated. "There's a full house here and, as a young kid, it's a great thing to do.

"It's a very good start for him. The timing of the run, and also the pass from Isak [Hansen-Aaroen] was very good. It set him up and he managed to score a goal against Leeds United. What can you say?"