Under 21s: Manchester United 3 Everton 1
Manchester United U21s made an impressive start to their new season at Leigh Sports Village with a comfortable 3-1 win over Everton on Monday evening.
United’s starting line-up featured last season’s breakthrough first team striker James Wilson, and he wasted no time impressing the 2,680 crowd and an array of watching scouts, intricately threading the ball through to James Weir who comfortably slotted home in the 17th minute.
Just six minutes later, England U21 international Wilson took centre stage, taking advantage of a robust challenge from Josh Harrop to smash the ball low past Everton goalkeeper Hewelt and make it 2-0.
At that point it felt like the reigning Barclays U21 Premier League Champions might score every time they ventured forward, but despite some accomplished midfield work from Dutch 17 year-old Timothy Fosu-Mensah, it took until the 55th minute for United to extend their lead.
It was worth waiting for, Jesse Lingard jinking his way into the penalty area and calmly sweeping the ball low past Hewelt to extend the score to 3-0. However, a young Everton side picked with one eye on their first team’s Capital One Cup tie this week kept going, and got their reward on 78 minutes, Callum Dyson nodding home from close range after some good work down the right hand side.
Indeed, Everton may have reduced the deficit even further had it not been for a combination of some solid saves from keeper Sam Johnstone and some wasteful finishing. But Wilson, too, could have extended United’s lead and in the end they ran out worthy winners.
United’s U19s side - managed by Nicky Butt - return to Leigh Sports Village on Wednesday September 30 when they take on VfL Wolfsburg in the UEFA Youth League. This U19 competition initially mirrors the Champions League group phases and is likely to feature a number of the players who turned out for the U21s this week, including Fosu-Mensah, and Devonte Redmond. Kick off is 3pm, and tickets are free by registering at www.leighsportsvillage.co.uk/manutd
United: Johnstone, Varela, Tuanzebe, Love, Jackson, Goss, Fosu-Mensah (Redmond), Harrop, Weir, Lingard, Wilson