Manchester United kicked off 2016 with a 3-1 victory against Tottenham Hotspur at Leigh Sports Village on Monday night.
Warren Joyce’s U21s were bolstered by returning loanees as Joel Castro Pereira, Ben Pearson, and Will Keane came into the starting XI following spells at Rochdale, Barnsley, and Preston North End respectively.
Keane sent Matty Willock through on goal after some lovely hold up play but the midfielder’s shot was directly straight at Glover in the Spurs’ box. Fortunately it wasn’t long before United could claim the lead. Redmond picked out Weir who came inside and took on the shot. Glover touched it but the ball trickled over the line.
United took control of the half from that point onwards, save from a jinking run from England international Andros Townsend which culminated in the crossbar being grazed. Josh Harrop was sent through on goal but sent his shot skyward from the six yard box.
RoShaun Williams had a chance to score from a corner but closed his eyes as he went to connect with the ball and headed wide. For the next corner Andreas Pereira didn’t take such a chance as he decided to score directly from the corner kick. In his post match interview Pereira confirmed that the spectacular goal was intentional.
Ninety seconds after the introduction of Joe Pritchard, the Spurs’ player was on the scoresheet pulling a goal back for his side from a header at the back post.
A few tasty challenges went in from both side with under 20 minutes remaining, which set the match up for a tense finish. Andreas Pereira and Pearson picked up bookings in the final stages.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah went on a great run from central defence but he didn’t have much support and went for a shot himself which hit the side-netting. Will Keane also had a chance to score having gone through one on one with Glover. Unfortunately the striker sent his shot wide of the post.
Andreas Pereira then sealed the victory as once again a United player ended up one on one with Glover. Fosu-Mensah played a fantastic ball out of defence to find Pereira, whose cool head saw him go past the Spurs’ ‘keeper before confidently slotting home while looking away from the goal.
That win sees the U21s jump to fourth in the league with matches in hand on all other teams in the Barclays U21s Premier League Division 1. The Reds will face second placed Reading next Monday evening.
Manchester United: J. Pereira, Weir (c), Williams, Fosu-Mensah, Varela, Willock (Riley 58′), Redmond, Pearson, Harrop (Rashford 76′), A. Pereira, Keane (Fletcher 85′).
Unused Substitutes: O’Hara, Rothwell.
Goal(s): Weir (13′), A. Pereira (65′, 91′).
Booking(s): A. Pereira (68′), Pearson (86′).
Man of the Match: Ben Pearson.
Tottenham Hotspur: Glover, Walker-Peters, Amos (Pritchard 75′), Lesniak, Carter-Vickers, Veljkovic (c), Townsend, Winks (Miller 71′), Coulthirst, Walkes (Goddard 79′), Georgiou.
Unused Substitutes: Voss.
Goal(s): Pritchard (77′).