Seventeen-year-old striker Mason Greenwood scored his first senior Manchester United goal in a 1-0 win over Kazakhstan’s Astana in their Europa League Group L opener at Old Trafford on Thursday.
The prodigy slotted home through the keeper’s legs at the near post in the 73rd minute after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s young and much-changed line-up had dominated possession but struggled to break the deadlock.
United made nine changes to the side that started against Leicester City in the Premier League last weekend, with Nemanja Matic taking the captain’s role in the absence of Ashley Young and goalkeeper David De Gea.
They came close to scoring after three minutes when Fred’s powerful strike from distance smacked the top of the crossbar and Marcus Rashford missed another great chance 10 minutes later with a close-range shot straight at the goalkeeper.
Elsewhere in the Europa League on Thursday, teenage winger Bukayo Saka scored his first goal for Arsenal as they beat 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0.
Dynamo Kiev and FC Copenhagen scored 1-0 wins over Malmo and Lugano respectively in Group B while Cluj of Romania beat Lazio 2-1 and Rennes and Celtic played out a 1-1 draw in Group E.
Joe Willock put Arsenal ahead in the first half with a deflected shot that flew in off the underside of the crossbar, but Frankfurt battled gamely until midfielder Dominik Kohr was sent off for picking up two yellow cards in the second half.
Londoner Saka, 18, added a second with a superb curling shot in the 85th minute and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang slotted home a third to secure all three points for the Premier League side in the Group F clash in Germany.
The win put Arsenal top of the group ahead of Standard Liege who beat Vitoria Guimares of Portugal 2-0 at home.
Winger Kevin Bua scored twice for Swiss side FC Basel as they got off to the perfect start in Group C by hammering Krasnodar 5-0 at home. Getafe beat Trabzonspor 1-0 in the group’s other game.
In Group E, Norwegian side Rosenborg fell to a 1-0 defeat at Austrian side LASK and Dutch club PSV Eindhoven edged out Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon 2-1.