Tuanzebe debuts as Man United ring changes

Manchester United’s English midfielder Jesse Lingard (L), Manchester United’s English defender Chris Smalling (2L), Manchester United’s Spanish midfielder Juan Mata (C) and Manchester United’s DR Congo-born defender Axel Tuanzebe (R) attend a team training session at the club’s training complex near Carrington, west of Manchester in northwest England on May 3, 2017, ahead of their UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg football match against Celta Vigo.<br />Paul ELLIS / AFP

Teenage defender Axel Tuanzebe was awarded his full Manchester United debut as manager Jose Mourinho made eight changes for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Arsenal.

With the match sandwiched between the two legs of United’s Europa League semi-final against Celta Vigo, Mourinho elected to rest several first-team players.

Matteo Darmian, Ander Herrera and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were the only players to retain their places from last Thursday’s 1-0 win in Vigo.

Academy graduate Tuanzebe, 19, was named in defence alongside Darmian, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, while Juan Mata made his return in midfield following a seven-week lay-off with a groin injury.

Captain Wayne Rooney also came into the starting XI, along with goalkeeper David de Gea, midfielder Michael Carrick and forward Anthony Martial.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger contented himself with two adjustments from last weekend’s 2-0 derby defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, with Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck replacing Gabriel and Olivier Giroud.

The Frenchman stuck with Arsenal’s new-look 3-4-2-1 system.

Both FA Cup finalists Arsenal and League Cup winners United are seeking to close the gap on the teams in the Champions League places.


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