Ryan Reynolds' AFC Wrexham has hit headlines once again for defeating Manchester United 3-1 in a pre season friendly on Tuesday.
The two sides faced-off in a sold out Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego for the second game of United's pre season tour in the US. The Premier League side defeated Arsenal 2-0 in their last match, but failed to outplay Wrexham who have garnered a huge fan-base in the states, with new owners and big-screen stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
Wrexham are certainly cashing in on their momentum following an iconic season that earned promotion back to the English Football League after a 15-year absence. They'll surely be looking to carry their form through to the official 2023-24 schedule, but first they put their skills to the test in a friendly against Manchester United and came out with a convincing win.
Admittedly, Man United were fielding a team of young players from their academy - as Real Madrid will be challenging Erik Ten Hag's best side in less than 24 hours - but United certainly weren't gifting away the victory.
The game was already leaning Wrexham's way, but a significant turning point came as Man Utd goalkeeper Nathan Bishop recklessly brought down Wrexham's star striker Paul Mullin.
Mullin suffered a punctured lung in the collision and was instantly rushed to hospital. He's reported to be stable in recovery, and even posted a selfie from the hospital bed with the caption - "Thank you for all your messages! All good here!".
In an interview after the game, Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson had this to say about the incident:
It is a real blow for us, you can't hide away from that. I thought it was a clumsy challenge from the goalkeeper and it should have been a straight red. If it is not denying a goal-scoring opportunity, it is still a dangerous challenge. So if you add the two scenarios together he should have been off the pitch. It was a dangerous challenge and Mulls is our talisman. I'm fuming with it, I have to be honest about that. It was a clumsy, reckless challenge in a pre-season game. I can't say any more than the fact I'm not happy with it at all.
This could put Wrexham in a difficult situation heading forward, but we all hope Mullin has a swift recovery and can get back on the pitch soon. Bishop shared that notion with an apology posted on social media that read: "Just wanted to share my sincerest apologies to Paul Mullin. A complete misjudgement and a genuine accident with no malicious intent at all! Wishing you the speediest recovery and hope to see you back scoring goals as soon as possible!"
Despite the loss to their attack very early on, Wrexham continued to dominate the match. Elliot Lee and Aaron Hayden made it 2-0 in the span of just seven minutes, but were quickly joined on the scoresheet by Marc Jurado at the stroke of half time to make it 2-1 to Wrexham.
Entering the second half with a one-goal lead, Reynolds' side didn't take their foot off the gas. Man United's young team were clearly frustrated by the scoreline, and they soon paid the price as Dan Gore received a red card just two minutes into the second half. And with one man down, conceding in the second 45 was almost inevitable.
Wrexham broke through the backline with a one-two and an outswinging cross to Sam Dalby who made the final scoreline 3-1.
Wrexham proved they could be worthy of promotion once again, but they'll likely face much tougher challenges heading into this season...
Do you think Wrexham are bound for the Premier League with their current form? Or has Manchester United fielded a young team that makes Wrexham look better than they are?
(Header Image Credit: Orlando Ramirez - USA TODAY Sports)