Manchester United’s U21 side bounced back from an opening day loss to Liverpool to defeat last years Elite group bottom club West Brom 4-0 at The Hawthorns.
United started brightly controlling the game with not many chances to show for until the 15th minute. A beautifully weighted corner by Adnan Januzaj found the head of Nick Powell who powered a header through the legs of the West Brom defender who was stood on the back post.
This was Powell’s first game back for the U21s after having a rather mysterious pre-season with United not really keeping the fans in the loop about his recovery from surgery.
The Reds continued to press and when the ever so lively Januzaj blasted a cross across West Brom’s six-yard box, it was unfortunate that no one was there for United for what would have been an easy tap in.
West Brom started to find their feet in the game and went close after a curling free kick bought out the best in Ben Amos as he dived to his left to keep United ahead.
But after pushing too far forward, United caught West Brom weak at the back as they found space in the middle of the park with Powell.
He threaded through a lovely pass to Jesse Lingard and after cruising past West Brom’s right-back, Lingard provided a perfectly accurate low cross which Angelo Henriquez tapped home for his first goal of the season.
United started the second half as they did the first with free flowing football but no real opportunities to show for their dominance.
Then in the 53rd minute, Chilean centre forward Henriquez was fouled in the box and Januzaj expertly placed the ball into the top left corner to score United’s third.
By this time, United were in complete control and went close again through Januzaj after a marvellous through ball by Larnell Cole but the young Belgian could only place it high and wide.
West Brom then got a rare chance from a free kick but it whistled past Amos’s left hand post causing no problem to the former England youth internationals goal.
United then scored their fourth after a spirited run down the right by Guillermo Varela resulted in the ball falling at the feet of Tom Lawrence who slotted the ball away, just minutes after coming on as a substitute. United could well have had a fifth late on but Henriquez’s shot was parried away by West Brom stopper Rose.
It was a much improved performance by United’s second string after a dismal performance on Monday evening. Powell seemed to have no real problems after the injury he picked up towards the end of last season. Lingard and Januzaj continued to impress on either flanks with Henriquez also impressing as he played a part in two of the goals.
The U21s now don’t have a game until 16th September when they entertain Bolton Wanderers at the Salford City Stadium as they look to claim their second win of the season.