After a year of negativity surrounding the state of Manchester United’s Academy, the underage sides have been quickly rebuilding the club’s reputation as one of the biggest producers of young talent in the country with the U18 side brimming with talent and currently sitting top of the league. This weekend it was the U16 team who added to the growing excitement around the clubs underage sides as they won the under 16 Premier League International tournament.
United began the tournament on Friday with a 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion with Jayden Reid scoring but United missed a penalty in normal time and were beaten 5-3 on penalties in the shootout. On Saturday morning they provided an impressive performance beating Borussia Dortmund 4-1 with 2 goals from under 15 Mason Greenwood and two penalties from captain James Garner after fullback Ethan Laird was twice brought down in the area. United went into the last group game knowing they needed a win to progress and duly delivered with Callum Dolan scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win.
On Sunday morning United faced a strong Anderlecht side who had topped a group containing Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester City to progress to the semi-finals. Against arguably the favorites to win the tournament United produced a fine performance to beat the Belgian side 2-1 with Mason Greenwood and Dylan Levitt scoring to send United through to the final. In the final United’s youngsters faced a strong Fulham side who had won the tournament for the past two years and made their way to the final by topping a group containing Liverpool, Porto, and Derby County and beat West Brom on penalties in the semi-final. Following a 0-0 draw, it was United who held their nerve better and showed good mental strength to win on penalties having been beaten in their previous two penalty shootouts in the past week.
— Sport for Freedom (@SPORTforFREEDOM) October 16, 2016