U21s: Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Manchester United – Wilson makes the difference

by Tracey Germaine

Manchester United’s Under-21s fought to a well earned 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur thanks to a lone strike from man of the moment James Wilson.

Louis Rowley took Jonny Evans spot in the starting XI as he joined Ben Pearson and Joe Rothwell in midfield while Charni Ekangamene slotted into central defence alongside Paddy McNair.

Spurs fielded a strong line up including former United player Zeki Fryers as well as Mousa Dembele and Nabil Bentaleb. It was no surprise that they dominated the possession in the first half as they moved the ball about fairly comfortably. James Wilson was left rather isolated, sometimes with 35 yards of space between him and his nearest teammate.

That being said, it was a solid defensive performance from the Reds with Ben Amos being alert on several occasions, to keep the scores level. Guillermo Varela was forced off in the 20th minute with injury after he was elbowed in the head and the wound began bleeding profusely. He needed stitches so James Weir came on to replace him, as Saidy Janko fell back into the right back position.

At one point, Spurs went down to ten men for a good few minutes as one of their players needed to go to the bathroom but took their time doing so. United pushed forward, spurred on by the hard work of Rowley in midfield and a great run from Ekangamene. That spell gave United more confidence for the second half.

Reece James had United’s first real shot of the match but the ball was deflected out for a corner. James Weir then almost scored with his head from a set-piece but Archer in the Spurs’ goal managed to make the save.

Weir, was in attacking action again moments later soon after, this time going on a great run before picking out James Wilson on the edge of the box. The striker coolly finished with his right foot into the bottom corner.

Ben Pearson fought his way into the match showing that he would not be intimidated by the Premier League stars on show and got himself stuck in to the extent he picked up a yellow card. Chances started to dry up for United as Wilson looked out on his feet but the hard work elsewhere on the pitch meant that Amos wasn’t really tested as United picked up a valuable three points.

That result means that United may well still reach the semi-finals with three points out of their final two fixtures potentially being sufficient to qualify. Four points would guarantee qualification.

Manchester United:¬†Amos, Varela (Weir 20′), McNair, Ekangamene, R. James (c), Janko, Pearson, Rothwell, A. Pereira, Rowley (Harrop 78′), Wilson.
Unused Substitutes: J. Pereira, McConnell, Rudge.

Bookings: Pearson, A. Pereira.

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