Debut goal a dream come true for Man Utd's Harrop

Manchester United debutant Josh Harrop revealed he is "over the moon" his dream came true following a sensational debut goal at Old Trafford in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Mourinho has repeatedly suggested his squad are feeling the effects of a season that will reach 64 games after Wednesday's Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm.

But it also had the effect of detracting from the outstanding performances of a number of his youngsters, with four home players handed their full league debuts and Mourinho fielding the youngest United line-up in Premier League history, at an average of under 23 years of age.

While most of journalists were still in the press box watching United's lap of honour to mark the end of the domestic season, Mourinho walked into a near-empty press room.

Cornered by United's in-house channel MUTV, the always-sunny 54-year-old just wanted to go home when asked about the club's positive result on the final day of the season.

And he didn't let his opportunity go to waste, producing a wonderfully disciplined, energetic display on the left-hand side, replete with a series of smart interceptions and encouraging bursts forward.

"Don't ask me too many things because now I am in a final", he said.

The press officer with him immediately asked if there were any questions, and after none were forthcoming in the six seconds or so before she then said "No?", Mourinho promptly added "good - bye guys" and left.

Harrop was teed up by Paul Pogba but had lots of work to do after 15 minutes at Old Trafford, cutting inside Palace defender Martin Kelly to create an opening for himself.

On an afternoon that some suggested could be his final competitive United appearance at Old Trafford, the 31-year-old received a standing ovation as he was replaced by 16-year-old Angel Gomes - the first Premier League player to have been born in the 21st century.

It was the kind of cutting edge Mourinho will have wished his side had displayed earlier in the season, with Harrop curling just wide as Palace struggled to breakdown the hosts' young defence.

"Beating Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool was a great thrill and without those victories we'd be relegated, down and out", said manager Sam Allardyce.

  • Julie Sanders