Mason Greenwood was welcomed back to football yesterday with chants of ‘Greenwood die’ from travelling Osasuna fans.
The shape of things to come for the Manchester United striker as he tries to rebuild his career in Spain, or a one-off in his first game back after 20 months in the shadows? Only time will tell but for Greenwood just being back on the pitch will have been a welcome relief, with new club Getafe’s 3-2 win an added bonus.
The chants rained down when he came on as a late substitute, forcing an 86th-minute corner from which Nemanja Maksimovic headed in the winner.
Getafe manager Jose Bordalas was pleased with the new signing’s debut but apologised post-game for suggesting last week that Greenwood had signed after being advised to do so by Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham.
‘I’ve been told that it was not like that; that he had nothing to do with it, so I apologise,’ said Bordalas. ‘That’s what was told to me but Mason has joined us for other reasons — because he was offered to us and we had a lot of interest in him.’
Osasuna fans aimed a loud chant against Mason Greenwood as he warmed up for Getafe
The 21-year-old forward came off the bench for his debut following his loan move from Man United
Greenwood won the corner that led to Getafe’s winning goal in their 3-2 victory on Sunday
Before the game, Bordalas had been cautious about Greenwood, reflected in his decision to leave the Manchester United loanee out of his starting line-up.
When three changes were made on the hour with the score at 2-2, Bordalas overlooked the England man. But when those changes failed to bring a winner for Getafe, Greenwood replaced Juanmi Latasa in the 77th minute and forced several corners. The second led to the winner.
Greenwood’s shot was charged down by Juan Cruz and, from the resulting kick, Carles Alena crossed for Maksimovic to nod in the winning goal. Asked about Greenwood’s impact, Bordalas said: ‘We were pleasantly surprised. He offered us a lot going forward.
‘We are being patient with him because he hasn’t played for many months. Today must have been a very special day for him because footballers want to play. We have seen the response from the fans and from his team-mates. We have to be calm but his contribution was excellent.’
Greenwood’s last match for United was against West Ham in January 2022, shortly before he was suspended by the club.
There were less than 10,000 fans inside the Madrid club’s Coliseum but Getafe fans have taken to Greenwood and roared their approval when his name was announced before the game and when he came on.
Getafe are viewed by United as a club out of the spotlight where he can rehabilitate, but increasingly Bordalas’s team are gaining attention and not just for Greenwood’s arrival.
This was their second home win of the season and they drew on the opening day against Barcelona.
Stefan Mitrovic had put them ahead in the first half yesterday only for Iker Munoz to equalise.
Jose Carmona put Getafe back in front before a penalty won and converted by Ante Budimir made it 2-2. That was when Bordalas turned to Greenwood and his contribution helped the Madrid minnows into the top half.