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Manchester United’s improvement Borussia Dortmund versus Hannibal Mejbri

Manchester United's improvement Borussia Dortmund versus Hannibal Mejbri

United lost 3-1 on penalties to Borussia Dortmund following a 2-2 draw at Leigh Sports Village in the Youth League.
Outside the locker room, the sounds of the Borussia Dortmund players and staff could be heard. Neil Wood came over to chat. “Upset” was the word used by one of three players who failed to convert a penalty kick, including Manchester United striker Charlie McNeill, who scored in the first half.

A frustrated Wood said of the referee: “I don’t feel like we got much out of the game, so it’s annoying.” That McNeill’s tackle was clearly penalized was confirmed by the few press members who had access to a video recording of the incident.
A Dortmund goal in each half allowed the United U19 side to draw 2-2 twice. A penalty shootout was required because the Uefa Youth League does not have overtime. As Hannibal Mejbri and Noam Emeran’s timid tries were stopped, McNeill’s weak effort hit the crossbar.

United’s defensive hierarchy has been rearranged.

Leigh Sports Village was attended by Ralf Rangnick, Chris Armas, Darren Fletcher, and Eric Ramsay. “We’re disappointed,” Wood said of having to leave. “Our performance impressed me; we dominated portions of the game and had a high percentage of possession. Because we were aware of the threat they posed, we were disappointed to surrender two goals on the counters, one of which could have been a foul on Will [Fish], but the other was a result of a bad decision on our part.

“The lads deserve credit for getting back into the swing of things. Once the score was tied, I began to believe that my team had a better chance of winning the game. If the game had to go into extra time, I believe we would have won.

“I think they all gave it their all in their own unique ways. I thought it was great. Passing, tackling, hard work, running off the ball, and running with the ball are all methods of achieving success. As it began to open up, In the end, we couldn’t get the last pass correct. In the final third, we were gaining a lot of possession, but when we got into the box, we lacked that final piece of quality.

“As far as they were concerned, they could go a long way. On the evidence of this game, we were up against a very good squad. At times, it was a tactical war, and we had to continually adjusting the build-up structure and the press coverage to keep things fresh. After halftime, they made some adjustments. It was a fun football game to watch from the stands, too. We did a fantastic job of representing ourselves. It’s reassuring for the young players to know that the manager is keeping an eye on them.”

Despite United’s desire to win the FA Youth Cup and League Cup semi-final against Wolves at Old Trafford next week, development takes first. Mejbri was one of only two full internationals, along with Zidane Iqbal, who stepped back down to the youth side to accept captaincy against Dortmund before returning to training with the senior squad.

Mejbri’s second-half performance as a No. 10 was more direct and effective. Despite the fact that he was penalized three times, he was likely fouled more than that.
“As a result, we had to alter the design of our initial set-up. because they were playing so narrowly, we shifted Sav (Charlie Savage) into the backline and pushed Alvaro and Marc up the sides “Wood went on the record to say that. “We were well aware that they intended to keep their distance and then surprise us with a break. It seemed like everything in the middle of the field was flying right through us. Going down the sides was a given.

“As we worked our way up to Hannibal from a 10, we wanted to ensure that if something went wrong, we still had some cushion to fall back on. We felt a little more secure both offensively and defensively once we got the message over.”

Joe Hugill was absent from the United squad because of an ankle injury he acquired while on work experience at Forest Green Rovers. There were about €20 million worth of salaries paid to bring in Mejbri, McNeill, Alejandro Garnacho, Alvaro Fernandez, Marc Jurado, and Radek Vitek alone.

The first team must qualify for the Champions League in order to participate in the Youth League. Last year, when United failed to meet this requirement, they scheduled an emergency game against AC Milan at Leigh Sports Village. This year, if they are relegated to the Europa League or Europa Conference League next season, United intends to schedule further games against premier academy teams.

It was more than just growth, Wood insisted. “This competition has been a refreshing change of pace. They had a few huge, strong runners on their team. That’s why the players are so sad; we wanted to win, the club wanted to win and the players wanted to win more than anyone else. We think they’re a great asset to the company.

“My most difficult match was against Villarreal (in group stage). It was instructive to see how well-organized and talented their offense was against a mediocre squad. We were confident heading into the away leg because we had figured out what they were doing. We might be able to cause them some issues with our strategy.

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