Mason Greenwood earned the praise of Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after his match-winning impact against Astana in the Europa League.
United were toiling at Old Trafford in Thursday’s opening Group L Europa League clash until Greenwood produced a moment of class to win the game with 17 minutes remaining.
Collecting the ball on the left side of the penalty box, the 17-year-old Greenwood tricked his way into enough space to rifle a shot through the legs of Astana’s excellent goalkeeper Nenad Eric.
Greenwood became United’s youngest goalscorer in European competition having netted his first senior goal for the club on just his second start.
“He’s a natural finisher, a natural footballer,” Solskjaer told BT Sport.
“He enjoys playing football and can play as a number 10 or wide so I’m pleased he’s got his first goal.
“We always know in and around the box he’s one of our best finishers.
“I’m happy he got his goal and he’ll go home happy tonight.”
Presenting our youngest-ever goalscorer in European competition: Mason Greenwood
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 19, 2019
Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes also started and Solskjaer indicated some of his young stars could keep their places for Sunday’s Premier League trip to West Ham.
“They show it every day in training, this is why they’re here and ready to play a part,” he added.
“I made it difficult by making so many changes, I have to take some blame as it’s easier to come into a settled team. But still, it’s a good night for us.
“We think today was a great opportunity for them, we wouldn’t throw them in if they weren’t ready but they need game-time so they can get rhythm. They might play at the weekend or against Rochdale [in the EFL Cup] next week.
“You have to handle the fans to make it at Manchester United, it’s not easy on a night like this. Angel did well, Chongy showed glimpses so they’ll be better for it.”
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