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Academy Match Reports

Academy Match Report: Manchester United u18s 2-2 Blackburn Rovers u18s – Man United News And Transfer News



Manchester United’s u18s hosted Blackburn Rovers last night at Moss Lane in a fixture which could see them leapfrog the opposition with a victory into third place in the league.

United started hot out the gates with Alejandro Garnacho tearing down the left and working the ball across the edge of the box for it to end with Manni Norkett to strike low but it was saved out for a corner.

In the 8th minute, Kobbie Mainoo got to the byline on the left and his cutback bounced off a Blackburn defender towards the goal but the keeper’s quick reactions were able to tip the ball around the post.

A minute later, Habeeb Ogunneye’s sailed too close to the keeper and looked like a routine catch but the Blackburn man made a meal of it as he dropped the ball and it bounced into the net to give United the lead.

It was all United in the opening 15 minutes and Mainoo looked to add a second when he went on a mazy run into the box with great strength holding off the defenders before laying it off to Norkett but he couldn’t beat the keeper from a wide-angle.

Blackburn drew one back in the 18th minute as their left winger got to the byline and cut back for a side-foot finish from Leonard Duru.

Garnacho looked to immediately respond racing down the left and cutting in before unleashing a strike into the top right corner which was only stopped by an incredibly strong hand from the keeper.
In the 20th minute, Dan Gore slid Omari Forson in down the right and the United midfielder looked to dink the keeper who was caught in no man’s land but an outstretched fingertip sent the ball narrowly wide.
The electrifying pace of the match died down in the latter stages of the half and the score remained 1-1 going into the break.
Early in the second half United put the ball into the back of the net as Sam Murray was played in behind down the left and he squared to Norkett to tap in but the ref’s whistle was quick to blow for offside.

Later in the half substitute, James Nolan crossed to the front post for Norkett to flick on but it flashed across the goal and wide.

In the 81st minute it was another disaster from the keeper but this time it was United’s, Radek Vitek. A chipped cross in from the left should have been easily gathering but Vitek took his eye off the ball and fumbled it through his fingertips and into the goal.

Minutes later Gore burst through two Blackburn defenders and went down on the touch of contact to win a penalty. Forson stepped up and slotted into the bottom right corner to equalise.

The final whistle blew shortly after with the final score 2-2, leaving United in 5th place just the one point behind Blackburn in 3rd.

Due to several cancellations earlier in the season, the u18s are back in action in under 24 hours as they take on Wolves at a lunchtime kick-off on Wednesday.

United: Vitek, Ogunneye (Nolan 61), Bennett, Jackson, Murray, Mainoo, Gore, Forson, Hugill, Garnacho (Berry 61), Norkett

Unused subs: Wooster, Williams, Curley

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Player ratings: Manchester United u18s 3-1 Nottingham Forest u18s – FA Youth Cup Final – Man United News And Transfer News




Manchester United’s u18s brought home silverware to Old Trafford to bring the supporters some joy at the end of the season as they defeated Nottingham Forest in the FA Youth Cup final.

Here are our player ratings for the match:

(A score of 6 is around average)

Radek Vitek – 5 – Made a terrible mistake for Forest’s goal and was shaky with his distributions.

Marc Jurado – 8 – Made several strong tackles and very important blocks at the back. Was also often the only defender capable of playing out from the back but didn’t venture too far forward often.

Rhys Bennett – 8.5 – A proper old school centre half performance with no frills on the ball but dominant in the air and some important last-ditch blocks. Capped off with a goal and almost a second.

Louis Jackson – 7 – Did well stepping up from the u16s on such a big occasion and got to grips with the physicality as the match went on.

Sam Murray – 6.5 – Provided the assist for the match’s opener and was decent overall but had a tough time with Josh Powell causing havoc down his wing.

Dan Gore – 7 – Quite a first half trying to deal with Forest’s packed midfield but picked up in the second half with some good passing.

Kobbie Mainoo – 7 – Not his best performance and couldn’t stamp his control in the first half but still provided his driving runs in the midfield.

Sam Mather – 6.5 – Had decent moments but drifted through the match too much.

Isak Hansen-Aaroen – 6.5 – Some moments of absolute quality on the ball and won the free kick for the first goal. But struggled with the physicality at times and couldn’t apply himself consistently over the match.

Alejandro Garnacho – 8 – Electric pace on show to pounce on loose balls to win the penalty and when scoring the third. But needs better decision making and less selfishness to round out his performance.

Charlie McNeill – 6 – Struggled to get involved and impose himself with Forest’s physical centre backs.


Maxi Oyedele – 7.5 – Came in and added some needed physicality in the midfield allowing the team to gain more control of the match.

Joe Hugill – 7 – Didn’t get on the ball much but was so important with his pressing that led to the turnover for the second goal and unsettled Forest’s solid backline.

Aljofree – 6 – Came on in the dying minutes and helped shore up the back.

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FA Youth Cup Final Match Report: Manchester United u18s 3-1 Nottingham Forest u18s – Man United News And Transfer News




With over 67,000 in the crowd at Old Trafford, the FA Youth Cup final against Nottingham Forest marked the biggest stage of Manchester United’s u18s careers so far.

Kobbie Mainoo kicked off the action with some clever footwork to get into the box and shoot into the keeper’s arms in the opening minute.

Up the other end, Forest came agonisingly close to taking the lead in the 3rd minute when their skipper rose on the corner to head just inches wide.

In the 12th minute, Isak Hansen-Aaroen won a free kick after a mazy technical run, beating several defenders before being taken down.

Sam Murray clipped the free kick into the area for United’s skipper, Rhys Bennett, to flick on and the Forest keeper couldn’t deal with the bounce on the ball as he palmed it into the goal to give United an early lead.

Later in the half, some good team play ended with Marc Jurado finding Hansen-Aaroen on the edge of the box to take the ball on the turn and open space for the shot but a good block from the defender took the power out of the Norwegian’s effort allowing for an easy save in the end.

Mainoo drove his way into the box and fumbled the ball to Alejandro Garnacho who dragged his shot all the way out for a throw-in.

Late in the half and Forest pulled back a deserved equaliser from a disaster mistake by Radek Vitek.

Josh Powell cut in from the right and struck on his dominant left foot into the bottom right corner which should have been saved by Vitek but it fumbled straight through his hands and into the goal as the United defenders rushed to console the disappointed keeper.

Charlie McNeill raced down the left beating a tight offside line but his whipped cross flashed across the goal unable to find a teammate and went out the opposite side of the pitch to mark the end of the first half.

Forest started the second half quickly with a big chance as they cut back from the byline for a strike from 8 yards out but Jurado and Bennett were on hand to combine to block the shot.

Minutes after Hansen-Aaroen was showing his quality with another Ronaldinho-Esque elastico to get into the box and cut back for McNeill but it was just out of his reach and then Mainoo tried to pounce on the open ball but swung and only got air.

In the 50th minute, a pile driver from Jurado at the right corner of the box could only be parried out for a corner by the keeper. The resulting corner was cleared to the waiting Garnacho at the edge of the box to shoot off the defender and over the bar.

Struggling with the physicality of the Forest side, Travis Binnion introduced Maxi Oyedele and Joe Hugill in the 64th minute to get a better grip on the cagey affair.

Bennett almost added a second as he powered a header down towards the right corner but a timely block from the Forest defender denied the United captain from restoring the lead.

Minutes later, Forest slipped up trying to play out from the back under Hugill’s press allowing Garnacho to race in and steal the ball away only to be taken down just outside the box.

But luck was in United’s favour as the referee got it completely wrong and awarded a penalty. Garnacho stepped up and calmly dispatched just right of the centre of the goal.

With eight minutes of added time, Garnacho ran at the heart of the Forest backline and had Oyedele open on his left but went for the strike himself from 18 yards and soared it over the bar.

A minute later and a mistake from the Forest defender allowed Garnacho to snatch the ball again and run into the box and with a cut onto his right and back to his left the Argentinean struck off the defender and the deflection cannoned into the net to seal the victory.

The win saw United lift the coveted FA Youth Cup trophy for the first time since 2011 in front of a record crowd.

United: Vitek, Jurado, Bennett, Jackson, Murray, Mainoo, Gore, Mather (Aljofree 86), Hansen-Aaroen (Oyedele 64), Garnacho, McNeill (Hugill 64)

Unused subs: Wooster, Pye, Ennis, Forson

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Academy Match Report: Wolverhampton Wanderers u18s 2-2 Manchester United u18s – Man United News And Transfer News




Manchester United’s u18s were in action on Wednesday away to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Just 16 hours after their match against Blackburn, Travis Binnion was forced to field a completely new starting XI to handle the extreme fixture congestion.

The rotated side looked to get on the front foot early as Isak Hansen-Aaroen feinted and charged through the midfield before laying it out wide for Sam Mather but the winger’s cross was too close to the keeper who was able to collect.

It was Hansen-Aaroen leading the charge again moments later when intercepted in the midfield and drove at the Wolves defence to set up Charlie McNeill for a shot on the right side of the box which was tipped over the bar.

The in-form Ethan Ennis joined the action looking to score one of these trademark goals as he cut in from the left and rifled an effort just inches wide.

Just before the break, a great counterattack looked to give United the lead after Ennis bundled home the rebound from Mather’s attempt with a clever backheel but the ref was to call it off due to offside.

Despite being the more dangerous side in the first 45, United had to settle for going into the half at 0-0.

The second half saw Wolves come out with a new lease of life almost taking a quick lead when Nathan Fraser played a teasing ball across the six-yard box which only needed to be tapping into the open net but the sliding Owen Farmer couldn’t get enough contact on it to guide it towards goal.

Seconds later, Fraser wouldn’t make the same mistake though and gave Wolves the lead. Tom Wooster came charging out of his goal to close down Farmer on the wing but couldn’t get there in time allowing Fraser to receive the cross and slot it into an open net.

After playing through United’s press Fraser was played in behind the backline to run in and finish past Wooster to double the Wolves lead in the 53rd minute.

It was almost another immediately after when Fraser held off Marc Jurado and turned to set up Farmer but a big save from Wooster kept United in it.

The 75th minute saw the introduction of Toby Collyer for his first appearance with the club after his signing in March.

United pulled one after Hansen-Aaroen slid in to win back possession at the edge of the Wolves area and the ball was played out to James Nolan who slid in a low cross for McNeill to take with a brilliant turn before smashing into the bottom corner with his left boot.

Chasing the equaliser until the dying moments it was in injury time when McNeill popped up again to save the day with his second on the day. A perfectly weighted through ball from the u16 Adam Berry allowed McNeill to come onto the ball in stride and finish into the left corner.

A late winner was almost on the cards as well when Nolan crossed for Mather to hit but he couldn’t keep the ball down as it soared into the stands.

The match ended 2-2 leaving United tied for third place with two matches left in the season.

United: Pye, Aljofree, Jurado, Lawrence (Nolan 62), Oyedele (Collyer 75), Curley, Ennis (Berry 62), Hansen-Aaroen, Mather, McNeill

Unused Subs: Hanbury

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