Academy graduates make their mark yet again
Wednesday night’s away victory over Brentford saw three different Manchester United Academy graduates score in the same game.
Anthony Elanga put the Reds ahead with a wonderfully-composed goal, controlling Fred’s ball well before heading past Jonas Lössl.
Mason Greenwood doubled our lead, simply tapping home into an empty net after Bruno Fernandes’ excellent run and lay-off. And then, six minutes after coming off the bench, Marcus Rashford rifled home a third to wrap the game up for Ralf Rangnick’s side.
For many years a statistical rarity, the feat of three different Academy goalscorers in one game has become more common in recent times thanks to the emergence of highly-talented forwards like Elanga, Greenwood and Rashford, but also goalscoring midfielders like Scott McTominay.
Prior to 2019, United had gone 17 years in the Premier League without completing the accomplishment, but this is the fourth occasion since then. This is also the third time that Greenwood and Rashford have been involved, perhaps unsurprisingly.
The pair were both involved in November 2019 when we achieved the feat twice in a month, first against Brighton and then two weeks later against Sheffield United.
The record continued to pick up pace when United came from behind against West Ham United at the London Stadium in December 2020. Once again, it was the dynamic duo of Rashford and Greenwood who grabbed two of the goals, with Paul Pogba having scored the first.
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 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.
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.
PREMIER LEAGUE GAMES WITH THREE DIFFERENT ACADEMY SCORERS FOR UNITED
19/01/22: Brentford (A) 3-1 - Anthony Elanga, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford.
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.