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Manchester United v Crystal Palace - story of the match


Josh Harrop enjoyed a memorable Manchester United debut

Josh Harrop enjoyed a memorable Manchester United debut

Josh Harrop enjoyed a memorable Manchester United debut

Josh Harrop introduced himself to Old Trafford in some style as the debutant's stunning strike set the youngest Manchester United team in Premier League history on course for victory against Crystal Palace.

With Wednesday's make-or-break Europa League final against Ajax looming large, Jose Mourinho stuck to his word by resting numerous key players and handing four young prospects their full debut with sixth place already assured.

United's performance belied their tender average age of 22 years 284 days, with Harrop marking his first appearance with a superb effort that kicked off a surprisingly comfortable 2-0 win against Palace.


"Kids are the way forward" - f ormer United defender Phil Neville (@fizzer18)


Harrop. The 21-year-old's superb early strike, which he fired home having latched on to an excellent Paul Pogba ball down the left, was the highlight of a very eye-catching individual performance from Harrop, in which he looked full of confidence.

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Harrop was not the only youngster to make a good impression on his full United debut - full-back Demetri Mitchell also impressed, both with his attacking and defensive contributions, while Scott McTominay looked the part in midfield and Joel Pereira was solid when called upon in goal. United finished with a 16-year-old on the field after Angel Gomes was introduced for his senior bow with two minutes of normal time remaining.


If this was Wayne Rooney's final competitive home match as a United player, it was certainly a strange one. The skipper being named as the spearhead of the attack in the Red Devils starting line-up harked back to old times, but his performance was in keeping with more recent outings as he struggled to make an impact. The way he was surrounded by exciting youth only seemed to emphasise the feeling that the 31-year-old is yesterday's man - and it was quite a moment when he was substituted late on, to a rapturous reception, for Gomes, a player he is almost twice as old as.


Manchester United

Joel Pereira 7

Timothy Fosu-Mensah 7

Eric Bailly 6

Phil Jones 6

Demetri Mitchell 7

Scott McTominay 7

Axel Tuanzebe 7

Paul Pogba 7

Jesse Lingard 7

Wayne Rooney 6

Josh Harrop 8


Michael Carrick (for Pogba, 45 mins) 6

Anthony Martial (for Lingard, 45) 6

Angel Gomes (for Rooney, 88) 6

Crystal Palace

Wayne Hennessey 6

Joel Ward 5

Martin Kelly 5

James Tomkins 5

Patrick van Aanholt 6

James McArthur 5

Luka Milivojevic 6

Wilfried Zaha 6

Jason Puncheon 5

Jeffrey Schlupp 5

Christian Benteke 6


Bakary Sako (for McArthur, 61) 5

Sullay Kaikai (for Van Aanholt, 67) 5

Fraizer Campbell (for Zaha, 80) 5


Ajax v Manchester United (Europa League, May 24)

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