Axel Tuanzebe’s versatility was on display Thursday night, helping United secure a 0-0 draw and advance to the round of 16. The tie could have been made interesting if Oyarzabal converted a penalty but a woeful miss helped United regain composure and see out the tie.
Tuanzebe came close to scoring but a flying knee by Victor Lindelof to the face of a Sociedad defender overturned what would have been Tuanzebe’s first ever United goal.
In the second half Tuanzebe was brought on for Fred in the middle of the field. The tie was looking secure at that point and the play had slowed down.
“Obviously I can play several positions, preferred is center back, but if the manager needs me to do a job for the team, I will do the job for the team,” said Tuanzebe in a post-match interview with MUTV.
It is still a good run for Tuanzebe to show his versatility to his manager in a position of need due to a recent slew of injuries. Tuanzebe being able to showcase his versatility must help his stock with likely defensive reinforcements coming this summer.
“It is one of those positions, now we suddenly get Donny, Scott, Paul, three of them out and we have been really well off before,” said Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
It would have been nice to see Amad Diallo or Shola Shoretire getting a goal or providing an assist, but the minutes are extremely important for the young players confidence.
“They are growing, good young players have a lot to learn, and it is the best way for them to learn is to be chucked on,” said Tuanzebe of the youngsters playing.
A clean sheet and some youth playing are positives that you can take out of this match. The biggest positive could be Tuanzebe playing in the midfield.