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Five talking points as Manchester United defeat Leeds during Mason Mount’s debut



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Credit: Manchester United

Mason Mount made his unofficial Manchester United debut as Erik ten Hag’s squad defeated Leeds United 2-0 during their first pre-season fixture.

Mason Mount, Jadon Sancho, and Amad were among the names who started against Leeds for Manchester United, with Erik ten Hag keen to give minutes to as many players as possible.

United and Leeds both spent the opening half creating a whole host of chances, however, the fixture remained goalless when the referee blew for half-time.

It took the second half and a complete change in United’s XI for the open goal to occur, with Noam Emeran slotting the ball in after a fantastic Isak Hansen-Aarøen ball slipped him through on goal.

Joe Higull then added a second with 10 minutes remaining, and United ended their first pre-season fixture with a mostly convincing win.

#1 – Mount is on set-piece duty

Within 10 seconds of the fixture, United were offered a free-kick, and Mason Mount was the one who stepped up to take it.

Lifting the ball into the area, the set piece ultimately lead to nothing, but Mount contained to take the various dead-ball scenarios, with Mount lifting in multiple corners and free-kicks into the box.

With Mount now in the squad, he will add to the group of Bruno Fernandes, Luke Shaw, and Christian Eriksen as options to take free-kicks and corners from now onwards.

#2 – Amad wants this chance

Amad was nothing short of fantastic in his opening XX minutes during this pre-season.

Starting on the right-hand side, Amad looked sharp, elegant, and impressive, cutting in relentlessly from the right-hand side in a way that will be refreshing to the eyes of many fans.

#3 – Hannibal and Amad show shades of what’s to come

Beyond Amad’s fantastic display, his and Hannibal’s link-up together was a very exciting connection to witness in the opening half.

Hannibal, despite his yellow card in the first half, looks like a much-matured player coming back from his loan with Birmingham City, knowing the right times to press, pass, and run.

Hannibal combined with Amad on multiple occasions to create several chances from United’s right-hand side, which may be a sign of things to come at the club if both players get a chance to further impress.

#4 – Ten Hag sticks to his promise

Ahead of the fixture, Ten Hag noted that “this is their moment” with regard to the youth players, and that he hopes “at least one [youth] player can join the group, have minutes and even fight for a starting place.”

He certainly stuck to this promise as he fielded 11 youth players for the second half of the fixture.

16 players who can be considered youth/waiting for a breakthrough were given 45 minutes to impress, with the Dutch manager no doubt taking notes on the performances of each individual player after the Leeds fixture and as the pre-season progresses.

#5 – Emeran’s special moment

Taking the most fantastic way to capitalise on his moment in the spotlight, Noam Emeran opened the scoring in fantastic fashion.

With young Norweigan talent Isak Hansen-Aarøen playing through a perfect ball from midfield Emeran slotted the ball in with his left foot in cool fashion to open the scoring.

Further to this, Emeran then turned creator with a fantastic pass that found Joe Hugill in the area to send the Red Devils two up on the day.

The United XI in the second half was purely made up of young players, but none of them looked out of place – it may become a tough choice as to who Erik ten Hag selects to join the first-team squad on the pre-season tour of the USA.