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Manchester United lucky to have special talent Mason Greenwood – Harry Maguire

The 18-year-old rescued a point for United against Everton on Sunday.

Mason Greenwood has made an impressive start to life in the Manchester United first team (Martin Rickett/PA)
Mason Greenwood has made an impressive start to life in the Manchester United first team (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Simon Peach, PA Chief Football Writer

Harry Maguire believes Manchester United are lucky to have “special talent” Mason Greenwood.

On an afternoon when the club celebrated reaching 4,000 consecutive matches featuring a youth product, the exciting 18-year-old came off the bench to seal a 1-1 draw against Everton on Sunday.

Greenwood has long been touted as a future United star and underlined his potential with a fine finish, fresh from hitting a superb brace in a man-of-the-match display against AZ Alkmaar in Thursday’s Europa League encounter.

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Mason Greenwood scores against Everton (Martin Rickett/PA)

Team-mate Maguire said: “It’s a great finish again. I think it’s pretty similar to his goal in midweek, to be honest.

“He’s a special talent, he’s a young boy, he’s working hard in training.

“He needs to keep his head down, not get carried away and I’m sure he’s going to have a big future for this club and we’re lucky to have him.”

Greenwood’s performance off the bench against Everton was one of few positives on a frustrating afternoon, when United fell short of expectations following impressive Premier League wins against Tottenham and Manchester City.

  • Sheff Utd 3-3 Man Utd
  • Man Utd 2-2 Aston Villa
  • Man Utd 2-1 Tottenham
  • Man City 1-2 Man Utd
  • Man Utd 1-1 Everton

Victor Lindelof’s own goal gave Duncan Ferguson’s side the lead and infuriated Maguire, who could not understand why the video assistant referee gave the opener the green light after Dominic Calvert-Lewin caught David De Gea as the corner came in.

Pushed on Everton’s goal, Maguire told MUTV: “Quite simply, I’ve watched it back, it’s a foul. It is frustrating.

“Nowadays, you can’t impede the goalkeepers. When I am going up for a corner, I know I can’t jump above the goalkeeper and make contact with him unless I’m making contact with the ball at the same time.

“Then you see their player has charged in, he’s made contact with David, he hasn’t made contact with the ball. It should be a foul.

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David De Gea felt he was obstructed by Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I asked David straightaway and he said it’s a foul.

“Obviously, he’s frustrated that he didn’t get a cleaner punch on it but, at the end of the day, he has been impeded without the opposition making contact with the ball.

“And people say ‘yeah, it’s a contact sport’ and things like that, but that’s way it is now with goalkeepers.

“You’ve seen it over the last couple of years, you can’t touch them in the box, and normally they get given a foul.”

Despite feeling wronged, Maguire knows United “need to improve” and kick on as a frantic festive period builds up with Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Colchester and the league trip to Watford on Sunday.

“December is a busy month,” he added.

“We have got obviously the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, which we need to win, we need to go through and reach a semi-final, which is really important.

“But then we’ve got Watford away. We know they have got a new manager, so they are going to be fighting for every ball.”

Everton are also looking to progress to the Carabao Cup semi-finals when they host Leicester on Wednesday, when Ferguson will again be in interim charge.

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Interim manager Duncan Ferguson has made an impressive impact at Everton (Martin Rickett/PA)

The caretaker manager has instilled a fighting spirit at the Toffees, who avoided adding to the stoppage-time losses at Brighton and Leicester as United pushed late on.

Makeshift midfielder Mason Holgate said: “We’ve learned from things like that.

“We got together after they scored, made ourselves strong, and it wasn’t going to happen again.

“We’ve spoken about it and, where before we were still open if we conceded, we got ourselves in, together and tight, and made sure it didn’t happen again.

“That is a sign of the direction the squad is going. We are learning from our mistakes and I think that is starting to show.”

PA

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