U23: Leicester City 0-0 Manchester United

by Tracey Germaine

Manchester United and Leicester City drew 0-0 in a bottom of the table clash between two teams fighting relegation.

The form guide didn’t favour United with the Reds having not won any of their previous five matches, losing all but one, meanwhile the Foxes had not lost in their last five games. The already thin U23s squad was stretched even further with a contingent of young players travelling to the Dallas Cup with Tommy Martin.

As a result there were two debuts handed out by Nicky Butt, with Indy Boonen and Kayne Diedrick-Roberts, and there was quite a youthful look to the substitutes bench.

Charlie Scott and Josh Harrop had a couple of chances from range, while the best chance fell to Diedrick-Roberts who tested Daniel Iversen at his near post. However, the talking point of the first half was when Indy Boonen was forced to make way just 29 minutes into his u23s debut having picked up a couple of knocks in the game. It was disappointing for the young Belgian as he had looked bright in the opening stages.

It was one debutant for another as Luca Ercolani replaced Boonen. That caused a bit of a reshuffle with Charlie Scott moving forward from right-back into the midfield and Ercolani slotting into the defensive position. Leicester failed to really trouble Dean Henderson during what was a relatively non-eventful first half.

Early in the second half, United were forced into a second substitution due to injury. This time Matthew Willock picked up a slight hamstring tweak and was taken off to avoid aggravating it. Willock was replaced by Faustin Makela, who did well after coming on, and contributed to some good passages of play.

The Foxes looked to have scored at one stage. They sent the ball in from a corner. United’s marking was quite poor as Elliot Moore’s header was flicked on by Josh Gordon. The ball trickled through Henderson’s legs which took the pace out of the shot and Demetri Mitchell had his goalkeeper’s back. The attacker-turned-full-back was there on the line and cleared the ball.

Polish international, Bartosz Kapustka, had a decent chance from distance but sent it well wide. At the other end, Charlie Scott had a very good shot saved by Iversen. Meanwhile, the best chance of the game for United fell to Faustin Makela with roughly seven minutes of game time left. Some good work on the flank after throw-in saw the ball fall to Makela. He shot goalwards and unfortunately it trickled just wide of the far post.

The noises after the game suggested that this was a good point to get on the road. Given the recent run of poor form and the thinner than usual squad that’s arguable. However, a lot of the players who started the game have been playing U23s football for most of the season which weakens that argument. Fortunately that point from tonight’s draw shoots United up to 7th in the table, 4 points off the drop zone.

Man United: Henderson, Scott, Tuanzebe (c), Borthwick-Jackson, Mitchell, Harrop, Willock (Makela 52′), Redmond, McTominay, Boonen (Ercolani 29′), Diedrick-Roberts.
Unused Substitutes: O’Hara, Dunne, Spratt, Makela.
Goal(s): -.
Booking(s): Willock (15′).
Man of the Match: Charlie Scott.

Leicester City: Iversen, Pascanu, Moore (c), Knight, Wood, Martis (Dewsbury-Hall 46′), Hammond, Choudhury, Kapustka, Uche (Ndukwu 69′), Gordon (Mitchell 87′).
Unused Substitutes: Bramley, Kaba Sherif.
Goal(s): -.
Booking(s): Hammond (60′).

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