James Wilson marked his Manchester United debut with two goals as his side ran out 3-1 winners over Hull City at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
The 18-year-old was a surprise inclusion from the start by Ryan Giggs, but he repaid his manager’s faith by finding the back of the net either side of half-time to give his side a 2-0 lead.
Matty Fryatt pulled one back for the visitors just after the hour mark, making the home fans nervy, but the contest was put to bed when Robin van Persie stroked home with five minutes remaining.
It was an emotional night at Old Trafford for numerous reasons. None more so than the fact that Ryan Giggs looks to have played his last match at the famous stadium, after bringing himself on for the last 20 minutes.
In the process, Giggs became United's first player-manger in 87 years, according to ESPN's Richard Jolly:
Ryan Giggs is now Manchester United’s first player-manager to take the field since 1927.— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) May 6, 2014
The Welshman took to the microphone on the pitch after the game to address the crowd, per The Sun:
Giggs: "We know it's been tough this season - we've been spoiled by our success in the past. But your support this year has been superb"— The Sun - Football (@TheSunFootball) May 6, 2014
He continued, via Dan Roan of the BBC:
Giggs addressing Old Trafford crowd: "You've seen a little glimpse of the future...keep supporting us & the good times will come back soon"— Dan Roan (@danroan) May 6, 2014
David McDonnell for the Daily Mirror shares additional comments from Giggs:
Giggs to fans: "Your support has never changed and I'm sure in the coming years we'll bring you more success" #MUFC— David McDonnell (@DiscoMirror) May 6, 2014
Nemanja Vidic also turned out at Old Trafford for the last time, as he is set to join Inter Milan in the summer. He took to the mic to add his sentiments, per Tom Williams for AFP:
Vidic takes the mic. "I have had so many great times here and it's hard to speak because the emotion is working."— Tom Williams (@tomwfootball) May 6, 2014
Vidic: "Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Thank you very much."— Tom Williams (@tomwfootball) May 6, 2014
It is clear that Hull have their minds set on the FA Cup final against Arsenal, which takes place in less than two weeks. Manager Steve Bruce was even speaking in terms of that clash at Wembley after defeat at Old Trafford, per the Hull Daily Mail:
Steve Bruce says he told Matty Fryatt after FA Cup semi he'd earned his place in the final against Arsenal. Says goal v Utd reinforced that— HDMsport (@HDMsport) May 6, 2014
It may be James Wilson who grabs the headlines in the morning, but Bruce had praise for another of United's young talents, per Shamoon Hafez of the BBC:
Steve Bruce: "In Adnan Januzaj they have the outstanding young player in Europe. He looks a proper, proper player." #MUFC— Shamoon Hafez (@ShamoonHafez) May 6, 2014
However, having bagged two goals on your Manchester United debut, Giggs had to comment on his impressive new charge, via Tom Rostance of the BBC:
Ryan Giggs: "James Wilson is exciting. He's trained with us and not looked out of place."— Tom Rostance (@TJRostance) May 6, 2014
The victory does little to alter either Manchester United or Hull’s season, but it has added a feel-good factor around Old Trafford as the season comes to a close. The successful introduction of youngsters to the first team, as veterans head into retirement, seems like a passing of the torch.
Hull will be happy to get through this contest without sustaining any injuries. They will now continue their preparation for the FA Cup final on 17 May.