Kobi Mainu scored his debut goal.
Manchester United defeated Newport County 4-2 in the fourth round (Round of 32) of the English FA Cup for the 2023-24 season at Rodney Parade in Newport, England, on Monday at 1:30 a.m. ET.
Mainu started and scored his debut goal. In the 13th minute of the first half, with his team up 1-0, he received a pass from Diogo Dalot on the right side of the penalty box and sent it straight into the middle of the box. The ball left Mainu’s toes and was exquisitely sucked into the left corner of the goal. It was a sensational strike that found an empty net.
Mainu spoke about his debut goal after the match. “This is an important moment in my career. I’ve been dreaming of this moment for a long time and it’s amazing,” he said.
“Now it’s back to basics. We have great players who can score at any time. We weren’t shocked when we conceded at 2-2, we just have to go back to doing what we do best,” he said of the victory.
Mainu is one of United’s top prospects. The 2005-born central midfielder came through the United youth ranks, gaining experience and earning a regular spot in the first team this season. He made his Premier League (PL) debut last season.
He plays with a calmness that belies his age. He’s good at breaking up play in the middle of the park, and his long-range passing is excellent. He’s also very active, getting all over the pitch.
Currently, United’s three midfielders are all underwhelming. Casemiro and Christian Eriksen are aging and not as good as they used to be. Scott McTominay is too clunky to hold down a spot in the midfield. That’s why Mainu’s recent recall has made him one of United’s most promising midfielders for the long term.
Of course, there are areas where he needs to improve. His weaknesses are in defense. Against teams that play at a high tempo, he was a bit slow to get into the defense. It’s something he needs to work on as he continues to play and gain experience.
With the win thanks to Mainu’s debut goal, United will now prepare for the FA Cup round of 16. They will face the winner of the match between Nottingham Forest and Bristol City.