'Dreams do come true' - Tuanzebe delighted to realise captaincy ambition at Man Utd

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The defender expressed his gratitude towards Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for trusting him with leadership duties during a Carabao Cup win over Rochdale

Axel Tuanzebe has described his first experience of captaining Manchester United as "remarkable" after a penalty shootout victory over Rochdale.

The 21-year-old wore the captain's armband during the third round tie at Old Trafford, which turned out to be far more dramatic than the home supporters might have expected.

United took the lead through Mason Greenwood in the 68th minute of the game, with his second strike in the space of a week easing the tension at the Theatre of Dreams.

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However, Rochdale found an unlikely equaliser eight minutes later, when 16-year-old Luke Matheson rifled the ball past Sergio Romero and into the net.

Penalties were ultimately needed to separate the two sides, with United winning 5-3 to book a fourth-round clash against Chelsea.

Tuanzebe did not know he was going to be captain until moments before the game got underway, but he was delighted to realise a long-held "dream" in front of the United faithful.

“Dreams do come true. I had goosebumps as I was walking out. It is something I have been working on for a long time and the moment finally came,” the England U21 international told MUTV.

“I am just grateful to the manager and grateful to the club and the players I am playing with for sharing this moment with me.

“It was a nice surprise. I was literally getting ready to stretch and loosen up and Mike Phelan just came to me and said 'are you ready to go and see the referee'.

“I said ‘what do you mean?’ and he said, 'Come on you are captain'. So I said 'alright, let’s get it'.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United 2019

Tuanzebe went on to add that the occasion was made all the more special due to his upbringing in Rochdale.

“It made it that bit more sweeter, a bit more special,” he said.

“I had a lot of family and friends who came to watch the game so to have my first game as captain in front of them was remarkable.”

Tuanzebe was relieved that United managed to progress to the next round, having been impressed by the League One side's performance in Manchester.

“They defended well first and foremost,” the centre-back continued.

“Big respect to them, they came out here and battled all the way. They had confidence. It is a hard place to come to, Old Trafford, and play. But they did and all respect to them and good luck to them for the season.

“We had a lot of chances that we weren’t able to execute, but we always find a way to win and we are through to the next round, and that is important.”

The Red Devils will travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on October 29, with Tuanzebe relishing the prospect of such a huge tie.

He concluded: "These are the kind of games you want to be playing. People dismiss the Carabao Cup and say it is a nothing kind of trophy.

"But you respect the teams who are in it and you respect the competition. Chelsea will be a big game and we want to win it and march on.”

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