Manchester United suffered an embarrassing collapse at the hands of newly-promoted Leicester City last week, as having led 3-1, the Red Devils shipped four goals in just 20 minutes to somehow lose the game 5-3 - further emphasising the problems in the heart of the Manchester United defence.
Manager Louis van Gaal chose to spend his summer transfer budget on improving his midfield and attacking options, with only Marcos Rojo brought in to reinforce the centre of the defence - despite the summer departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
With Phil Jones and Jonny Evans injured and Tyler Blackett suspended, United were left bare in defence once again, which led to a shock start for 19-year-old Patrick McNair, who has never featured for the club before. The Northern Irishman started alongside Rojo at centre back, and ended up being a game winner.
Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie may have got the goals for United in their 2-1 win over West Ham United today, but McNair played a key role in securing that victory. With the Hammers pushing for an equaliser after Wayne Rooney's red card, the ball was swung into the area, and with West Ham attackers queueing up to turn the ball home, McNair executed a perfect header to get the ball away from danger.
McNair has been praised for his contribution today, with fans lauding his debut on Twitter. Here are some of the reactions from United fans this evening after McNair's display...
Solid debut for McNair. And what about his headed clearance!#MUFC— Given Sigauqwe (@GSigauqwe) September 27, 2014
Mcnair did very OK considering he's just 19 and he jus making his debut in front of 75k+ crowd. Held his own #MUFC— ♥βεπ™MUFC♥ (@ItsBentip) September 27, 2014
Great to see McNair coming in and doing a good job against difficult opponents today. Goal-saving header was as good as I've ever seen #mufc— Stuart Hill (@stuhill90) September 27, 2014
McNair deserves a lot of credit for an excellent debut take a bow son #MUFC— James Morrissey (@jimmymooomooo) September 27, 2014
Paddy McNair played really well in defence and made some crucial interceptions. Well played lad, great debut #MUFC— James Lawler (@JamesLawler23) September 27, 2014
Great performance by McNair.. Stood up to the plate and put in a great defensive display.. Thumbs up lad, one for the future#manutd #MUFC— Michaelov (@KevinKevin1996) September 27, 2014