The Belgian came on for Ashley Young at Old Trafford this afternoon.
Manchester United have won their Premier League fixture this afternoon - claiming a controversial 2-0 victory over newly promoted side Crystal Palace. The game turned on a decision from referee John Moss. Ashley Young was earlier booked for a blatant dive in a challenge with Crystal Palace’s South African midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi.
And it was a challenge between the two same players later in the game which had a big impact on proceedings. The jury is open on the decision, but the more you see it you have to believe that perhaps initial criticism on Young is harsh (criticism I was party to) and that he was probably fouled - even if the contact was minimal.
The foul wasn’t in the box however, so the award of the penalty was harsh on a Palace team who, despite their best efforts, deserved to lose this game.
Young may have been a controversial figure, and will probably be the main talking point on Match of the Day later, but he was hauled off after 67 minutes with young Belgian Adnan Januzaj taking his place for a Premier League debut.
The player has impressed in pre-season, and last season was praised by Sir Alex Ferguson himself - who would have been impressed with what he saw as he attended his first match since retiring from the manager role.
Januzaj demonstrated plenty of the excellent touch and poise that has many a fan and pundit purring over his potential as a possible first-teamer for years to come.
In fact Januzaj was influential in the second goal of the game. He earned a free-kick from 25 yards out that Wayne Rooney curled delightfully into the bottom right-hand corner of Julian Speroni’s goal.
After the game Januzaj was a bubble of joy and excitement at getting the opportunity to play in front of the Theatre of Dreams, stating:
"I hope I get another chance to play for the first team. If I do, I will give everything to the club."
Januzaj delighted the fans at the ground with his display, and seemed to delight those on Twitter as well.
Here is some of the reaction from the fans on the social network site:
The worst of Adnan Januzaj is better than the best of Mesut Ozil #Tiem— Mistul Ti£m (@TieMills) September 14, 2013
Adnan Januzaj completed 90% of his 20 passes and created 2 chances after coming on - more than Young and Valencia #MUFC— EPL Stat Man (@EPLStatman) September 14, 2013
Adnan Januzaj has looked more threatening in 20 mins than Ashley Young has in two years #mufc— Seb Walke (@SebWalke) September 14, 2013
Delighted to see Adnan Januzaj given 20 minutes. There aren't many teenagers I rate higher. #MUFC— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) September 14, 2013
image: © Paolo Camera