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“Too early” – What we know from Manchester United’s behind-closed-doors friendly vs Barnsley



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Manchester United faced up against League One outfit Barnsley in yet another behind-closed-doors friendly game on Tuesday.

Erik ten Hag’s side were victorious in stunning fashion against Brentford on the weekend – with Scott McTominay scoring two injury-time goals – and now many players have jetted off to join their national teams for upcoming fixtures.

It provides United with an opportunity to regroup, and hopefully get some injured players back in action following a disappointing start to the campaign.

Again, Ten Hag has organised his team to play a behind-closed-doors friendly during this break. United have played Everton and Burnley at Carrington in recent months in order to work on different aspects away from competitive football in game situations.

This time, it has been reported by The Daily Mail that United played Barnsley, who sit third in League One, at Carrington on Tuesday with several injured stars close to returning to fitness.

It was added that the majority of the players who faced the South Yorkshire side were members of the Under-21s squad, with the youth players having access to the first-team facilities on Monday to prepare for the game.

However, Kobbie Mainoo was also to play in the game but it was eventually ruled as ‘unlikely’ that he would appear after it was decided that the run-out may have come a little too early for him.

The talented midfielder sustained an ankle injury during United’s pre-season tour of the USA and has since been unavailable for selection. He returned to first-team training last week and could return to games after the international break.

The Manchester Evening News have now reported that the final score for the tie was 3-0 in United’s favour, with Donny van de Beek one of the starters and scorers, while Antony also started. It is said that the Barnsley team was also made up of fringe players.

Whilst the report did not add information on Raphael Varane’s status for the behind-closed-doors clash, Ten Hag did state that the Frenchman only missed out on the Brentford game by ‘two or three days’, so it could be feasible he was afforded minutes on Tuesday.

It also could be a similar case with Sergio Reguilon, who returned to first-team training last week but was unable to make the squad to face Brentford.

The scoreline of the encounter remains unknown, but from the report, it appears that Ten Hag would’ve spent valuable time assessing some of the talent amongst the Under-21s.