United celebrate a goal at Newcastle.

How United's Under-23s fared this season

Tuesday 07 May 2019 08:00

Manchester United had a mix of experiences in Premier League 2 in a first season at Division 2 level.

Ricky Sbragia's side were up among the front-runners at the start of the campaign but, with the emphasis not on results at this level, changes to personnel to promote younger players and allow regulars to fly the nest on loan had an impact on the team's league position.

There were still plenty of positives, including three outings at Old Trafford and one sensational performance at Newcastle United's St James' Park, as everything clicked in our penultimate game to help record an impressive 5-0 victory.

Watch as the U23s hit five at Newcastle Video

Watch as the U23s hit five at Newcastle

Check out all five U23s goals at St James' Park - including Mason Greenwood's stunning free-kick...

United certainly made an imposing start to life in the division before a first defeat towards the end of October to eventual champions Wolves. This fixture, at Molineux, marked Mason Greenwood's debut at this level and the teenager scored our goal in a 2-1 loss.

The final month of the year started with a 2-0 success against Middlesbrough and it was maybe telling that both of the scorers - Zak Dearnley and Ethan Hamilton - would continue their development on loan in the following month, to Oldham Athletic and Rochdale respectively. December came to a close with a 1-0 victory at Reading, thanks to Angel Gomes's penalty, and a 1-1 draw at Derby County, with Nishan Burkart on the scoresheet.

After the changes to the squad, victories were harder to come by but there was a superb 3-0 defeat of Paris Saint-Germain in the Premier League International Cup, winning by the three goals required to clinch top spot in the group and a place in the knockout stages. Tahith Chong scored twice and Scott McTominay, stepping down to feature with the Under-23s, grabbed the opener.

Reading ended our interest in the continental competition but there was a memorable moment for Largie Ramazani at Sunderland's Stadium of Light in March as he registered his first goal at this level with a late equaliser against Sunderland.

Ramazani was a number of Under-18s blooded by Sbragia who enjoyed the step up, with Dylan Levitt another who handled the move as he got off the mark with a penalty in that cup exit to Reading. It was another member of Neil Ryan's youth team who continued to lead the way, however, as Greenwood scored a couple of beauties in the final two games of the campaign against Newcastle and Wolves.

The strike against the Black Country outfit was not enough to prevent Wolves coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in the finale, as the game ended in crazy circumstances which at least provided a lot of entertainment for any neutrals.

U23 Highlights: United 3 Paris Saint-Germain 0 Video

U23 Highlights: United 3 Paris Saint-Germain 0

Here's another cup win from Friday night - our Under-23s beating PSG by three at Leigh...

United finished in sixth place in the table, one place outside the play-off spots. Gomes, who was often captain of the team, was nominated for the Denzil Haroun Player of the Year award, alongside exciting winger Chong and midfielder James Garner, another who impressed after being promoted from the Under-18s.

Chong and Gomes tied in the leading goalscorer stakes with six apiece and it will be interesting to see what 2019/20 has in store for everybody.

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