Sol­sk­jaer im­pressed with youth­ful Man Utd side

The Citizen (KZN) - - Sport - Paris

– Kazakh cham­pi­ons As­tana fought back to sur­prise a youth­ful Manch­ester United 2-1 in the Europa League on Thurs­day.

Cap­tain Jesse Lin­gard opened the scor­ing for the vis­i­tors, who had al­ready reached the last 32, be­fore Dmitri Shomko equalised for the home side.

Di’Shon Bernard, 19, then put through his own goal to hand As­tana vic­tory over a United side whose av­er­age age was just 22.

United boss Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer said some of the young­sters on show put their hands up to fea­ture against Alk­maar in the fi­nal round of group matches on De­cem­ber 12.

“At times we were ex­cel­lent but there were spells when we let them push us back. That cost us in the end,” he said.

“These boys have learnt a lot and have given me food for thought. I’m very pleased with many of them.”

Shomko, mean­while, told the re­sult will live in his mem­ory.

“I will be telling my grand­chil­dren, ‘you know guys a while ago I scored against that

Manch­ester United’. It does not mat­ter who scored, re­ally. The most im­por­tant thing is that we won,” he said.

Sol­sk­jaer made 11 changes from Sun­day’s draw with Sh­effield United by hand­ing se­nior de­buts to teenagers Ethan Laird, Dy­lan Le­vitt and Bernard as well as nam­ing can­cer sur­vivor Max Tay­lor on the bench.

United opened the scor­ing af­ter 10 min­utes and Shomko re­sponded af­ter 55 min­utes. Bernard de­flected an An­to­nio Rukav­ina cross past 36-year-old Grant seven min­utes later. – AFP

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