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Alejandro Garnacho hailed after Manchester United win FA Youth Cup for 11th time against Nottingham Forest

By George Flood

Manchester United youth coach Travis Binnion has heaped praise upon Alejandro Garnacho after his heroics in the FA Youth Cup final.

Highly-rated forward Garnacho netted a decisive late brace on Wednesday night as United won the competition for a record-extending 11th time in front of a bumper crowd of 67,492 spectators at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils youngsters initially led Nottingham Forest courtesy of Under-18s captain Rhys Bennett’s early header, though the visitors hit back through Josh Powell after an error from goalkeeper Radek Vitek.

The stage was then set for Garnacho to decide the tie, first notching from the penalty spot in front of the Stretford End despite appearing to be fouled outside the area by Zach Abbott.

The confident 17-year-old - who replicated Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous celebration after his first goal - then struck again with a deflected effort in second-half stoppage time to seal a memorable triumph.

Next big thing? Alejandro Garnacho has been building quite a reputation at Manchester United (Manchester United via Getty Images)

“That boy could be in any stadium in the world and he wouldn't care,” United’s U18 lead coach Binnion beamed afterwards. “That's his make-up. A few of them are like that and that's why they are going to have good careers.

“This football club is remarkable at that, it's the best in the world at that. We have to keep that going, we have a responsibility to keep that going - the pipeline. It's nice to give the fans a bit of something because they're different class.”

Garnacho - who moved to England from Atletico Madrid in 2020 - has been making quite a name for himself in United’s youth set up, making his first-team debut off the bench with a late cameo after replacing Anthony Elanga in last month’s 1-1 home Premier League draw with Chelsea.

He has been selected in the senior matchday squad on several occasions this season and also played in the EFL Trophy match against Bradford last September.

Born in Madrid and a previous representative of Spain’s U18s, Garnacho is eligible to play for Argentina through his mother and featured at U20 level before receiving a shock first senior call-up by La Albiceleste coach Lionel Scaloni in March for World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela and Ecuador.

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