Ratings: Sunderland 0-1 Manchester United – Barclays U21 Premier League 2015/16

Manchester United U21’s played their first Barclays U21 Premier League match in a month against Sunderland at Eppleton Colliery on Monday evening, winning 1-0 with Tyler Reid scoring his first U21 goal 15 minutes from the end of the match. United had only played twice in the league this season so far, sitting tenth in the table with four points, 12 adrift of leaders Sunderland. United now have five games in hand over Sunderland and are nine points adrift. Sam Johnstone started in goal with Joel Castro Pereira on loan with Rochdale, which will be good for the players development. With the first team facing Middlesbrough in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday evening at Old Trafford, the likes of James Wilson, Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard, who has been involved with the first team for the last few matches, all vying for a place in the League Cup match.

Joe Riley filled in at left-back for this fixture, Timothy Fosu-Mensah was lively in midfield and James Weir continued his rise to fame at the club. It was substitute Tyler Reid who scored the only goal of the match 15 minutes from time, which was also his first at U21 level. Sunderland were the side to beat, especially in the first 15-20 minutes when they were playing some good football. United defended well, and needed to at times. They were denied a penalty in the first half, which should have been given, but Sunderland could feel the same after their claim in the second half was not awarded. Warren Joyce’s side face Reading at home in a weeks time, which should see U21 football return regularly heading into the rest of the season. United have an advantage with their games in hand, which they will be looking to win.

Manchester United

32 Sam Johnstone

Comfortable in goal and commanding in his area. Made a few crucial saves for his side. Decent performance for the young goalkeeper.


Guillermo Varela

Played well at right-back. I would like to see him given a chance in the first team at some point this season. Dealt well what what Sunderland threw at him and he assisted his team-mates. Made an important block which prevented a certain goal.


38 Axel Tuanzebe

Saved United in the final few minutes by deflecting a certain equaliser. Commanded his area well and considering he is just 17, he is set for a decent career providing he keeps developing. One of the star players this evening.


Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

Partnered Tuanzebe with Riley in the left-back role. Did what he needed to do in order to keep a clean sheet. Decent prospect.


Joe Riley

Did well at left-back, usually plays a more attacking role for his club. Confident and able to keep his cool.


Devonte Redmond

Partnered Fosu-Mensah in midfield and proved a decent partner for him. Assisted his team-mates going forward. Could have provided the opening goal inside 16 minutes, but Sunderland recovered from a defensive error.


24 Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Won the ball many times and seemed to be the engine in midfield. I have high hopes for Fosu-Mensah. Could have scored with a driving run, but his shot was caught.


Sadiq El-Fitouri

Played the right-wing attacker. Did well assisting his team-mates throughout the match. Privides another option for Warren Joyce's side.


42 Matty Willock

Had a long-range attempt on goal, which was dealt with by Mannone. Played well throughout his 66 minutes on the pitch. Was replaced by Tyler Reid, who scored the only goal of the match.


Ratings: Sunderland 0-1 Manchester United – Barclays U21 Premier League 2015/16

One of the main attacking outlets of the evening for United. Played a key pass, which Duncan Watmore intercepted. Made some good interplay with Fosu-Mensah as both were looking to either score of create a goal for United.


Ratings: Sunderland 0-1 Manchester United – Barclays U21 Premier League 2015/16

Looked for a goal all evening, which just never came for him. Collided with Mannone, which left the Sunderland stopper bloodied. Kept the keeper busy for much of the match. Hit his chance wide of the mark early in the second half.



Ratings: Sunderland 0-1 Manchester United – Barclays U21 Premier League 2015/16

Replaced Matty Willock. Scored the only goal of the evening, his first for the U21's. Usually plays right-back, but played a midfield role, and it was a good decision for Warren Joyce. Can hold his head high this evening, earning three points for his side.




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