Manchester United’s academy graduate Mason Greenwood set an impressive record the very moment he featured on the pitch in yesterday’s game against Paris.
Aged just 17 years and 156 days, Greenwood became the youngest-ever Red Devil to feature in Europe’s greatest stage, breaking the long-standing record of Gerard Pique who was 17 years and 310 days old when he made his first Champions League appearance against Fenerbahce back in 2004.
Speaking of United’s game against PSG, they had travelled to Paris with a 20-man squad devoid of many usual starters, despite their harrowing 2-0 loss in the first-leg at home last month. Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Martial, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard and so on were injured while Paul Pogba was suspended, rendering them unable to play.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was hence forced to fill his squad up with academy graduates, four of who made it into the substitutes’ bench for the final lineup as well.
Tahith Chong got his chance in the 80th minute, and then Solskjaer went ahead and rolled the dice once again, bringing Mason Greenwood in for Ashley Young in the 87th minute. United was chasing hard for a vital third away goal at that point, and they remained persistent on their efforts until VAR helped them earn a penalty in the dying moments of the game.
Marcus Rashford slotted the ball home to add to Romelu Lukaku’s brace from early on in the first half, helping Manchester United seal the deal.
Interestingly enough, Greenwood is still a “schoolgoing lad” at Ashton on Mersey School, where he is expected to be back on Friday. The school has a link with the club that allows him to play with the team’s academy, while also continuing his studies – as per a report in The Times.
The youngster will hopefully receive a hero’s welcome tomorrow, as he goes back to his school after the successful completion of his Champions League debut.