Ralf Rangnick has already made Manchester United history with just two games under his belt after he opted to deploy a number of young talents for the Red Devils home clash against Swiss outfit BSC Young Boys.
With progression into the latter stages of the competition already secured, United’s new interim boss chose to hand out debuts to a number of young fringe players who have rarely been patch of a senior match-day squad let alone get on the pitch.
Eleven of the 18 players selected for the squad to face Young Boys were produced by the club’s famed academy, including an entire substitutes bench made up of homegrown talent as United were held to a 1-1 draw.
Matej Kovar was one of two deputy goalkeepers on the bench alongside seasoned veteran Tom Heaton, while Teden Mengi and Shola Shoretire were also named as substitute options having already made their respective debuts for the club before.
Bjorn Hardley, Zidane Iqbal and Charlie Savage made up the rest of the options Rangnick had selected to start from the bench.
Midway through the second half, Mengi and Shoretire were introduced for their Champions League debuts, while ‘keeper Heaton enjoyed his long-awaited debut for the club after replacing Dean Henderson with just over 20 minutes to play.
After 88 minutes had been played, Iqbal and Savage were handed their club debuts, both players making headlines for all the right reasons.
In Iqbal’s case, he becomes the first British Asian to represent United at senior first-team level.
Savage’s appearance meanwhile, tugged on the heartstrings as it was done under the watchful eye of dad Robbie – himself a former United academy graduate.
Savage senior was on commentary duties for BT Sport, filled with pride as he introduced his son to viewers after he was brought on in place of Juan Mata just before added time.
By the time the final whistle had been blown, six teenagers had featured for United at some stage over the course of the 90 minutes – just the sixth time that has ever happened in Champions League history.
It was just the second time it had been done by an English side, the first coming twelve years prior when Arsenal welcome Olympiakos to the Emirates for a group stage game.
Two clubs famed for their stellar academy set-ups, United and Arsenal both now boast academy graduates in their respective first-teams on a regular basis, including the likes of Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.