An experienced Manchester United Reserves side sailed into the final of the Manchester Senior Cup tonight after a convincing 4-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers.
United flew out of the box and were rewarded with an early goal. Guillermo Varela sent a great ball into the box which Will Keane controlled with his left foot and smashed home with his right, giving the reds the lead after just 90 seconds. He has now scored three in four matches since returning from injury.
From that point onwards, United dominated the game but a combination of excellent goalkeeping and the woodwork kept the scoreline at 0-1 going into the break.
Wilfried Zaha probably came closest to adding to the tally. He went on an amazing solo run that started around 40 yards out, the defenders couldn’t get near him. The goalkeeper was beaten by the shot but unfortunately the same couldn’t be said of the crossbar. Zaha took around 20 minutes before he settled in but he started to come to life when he switched over to the left wing for a short while.
The woodwork played another important role for Bolton at the start of the second half, this time denying Tom Thorpe who rattled the crossbar. Somehow United had managed to step the pressure up another gear.
Januzaj then added United’s second goal with a sublime effort. He cut inside onto his left foot and placed a rocket shot into the top corner of the net.
Minutes later Zaha scored the third goal. Januzaj’s corners hadn’t been the best but he changed it up, getting the ball into Wilf who scored with a right-footed shot.
Lawrence was instrumental in the fourth goal with a superb tackle late on in the match. The ball fell to Cole who deserved got on the score sheet after a fabulous performance during the game.
Joyce felt that even more goals could have been scored tonight and that a few tap-ins went begging. Several times the ball went across the face of goal but no one got on the end of it.
It was a fantastic team performance tonight with everyone contributing but there are special mentions to Reece James and Guillermo Varela. Those two players were heavily involved in our attacking play. James started in an unfamiliar central midfield role and really excelled both in attacking play and also with some of his defensive play. Varela didn’t stop running up and down the right wing until the final whistle blew.
Manchester United: Amos; Varela, Michael Keane, Thorpe, Fabio; Zaha (Barmby 80), Ekangamene, Cole, James; Januzaj (Blackett 60); Will Keane (Lawrence 70). Un-used subs: Sutherland, Love.