Manchester United were beaten 3-1 by Chelsea in Aldershot in the Premier League 2 on Friday night. United took the lead through Axel Tuanzebe in the twentieth minute of the match from a corner, but Chelsea soon levelled the score in the first half. The home side then took the lead for the first time in the match six minutes into the second half, giving themselves a two-goal cushion in the final minutes of the match.
Nicky Butt made a few changes to his side to face Chelsea with Joe Riley on the sidelines after suffering an injury against Reading last week. Matthew Olosunde started at right-back after RoShaun Williams was involved with the U18 last weekend and will probably feature for the side in the FA Youth Cup on Monday evening. Charlie Scott replaced Riley at left-back. United still lacking an out-and-out striker, something which needs to be added during the next transfer window, will see United take their chances a little better, having a predator type player to get in behind the defence and help United score the goals they are missing this season.
United started the match brightly, albeit gifting Chelsea a corner, which amounted to nothing. United earned themselves a corner minutes later but failed to capitalise from it. United could have won a penalty after Josh Harrop seemed to have been fouled in the box. The referee did not give anything and after the replay, the Chelsea player won the ball. It pays to be able to watch things again, I guess. United may be out of sorts, but they were trying to capitalise early in the match on the attack, not getting anything so far. Scott McTominay was in the Chelsea half with the ball and suffered a challenge, which left him on the ground.
McTominay needed some treatment on the pitch, did not look too comfortable, but was able to continue after a few moments on the sidelines. The referee gave nothing for the challenge, which is poor refereeing as it was a foul. United took the lead in the 20th minute of the match through Axel Tuanzebe, scoring his first reserve goal. United could have earlier taken the lead but failed to capitalise from the shot. United will need to build on this lead in order to get back to winning ways, as Chelsea will start trying to get back into the game at some point. Five minutes later, Chelsea had a chance on goal through Tomori, which thundered the post and was then cleared by United.
Moments later, Chelsea were back on the attack with Olosunde blocking the chance. Quintero was booked for the challenge on Olosunde after he was clattered by the player in the chance which could have seen Chelsea go level in the match. On the half hour, Chelsea levelled the match with Tuanzebe looking like he had done enough to cut out the angle for the shot to go into the back of the net, but it was scored. United were back to square one and looking to get back into the lead. United gave away a penalty in the 36th minute of the match after Matty Willock took out Mason Mount in the box. Kieran O’Hara saved the resulting penalty to keep the score 1-1.
United looked to find something in the dying minutes of the half, with Chelsea doing the same thing. The game was end to end with Chelsea sometimes getting the better of United. Chelsea had another chance to take the lead, but the shot was dragged wide of the near post – luckily for United. Chelsea got through again, trying to pass the ball to another advancing player, but United managed to clear the danger. Three minutes of time added on at the end of the first half, United trying to shield themselves from Chelsea’s ability to work on the ball and create chances. The first half ended with the score still level at 1-1, which was good for United.
United started the second half well, but inside six minutes of the second half, Chelsea took the lead for the first time in the match. United now needed to work hard and find something from this match, but will Chelsea in a period of control and domination, they will be something United will find very hard to do. Despite trailing in the game, United have had some good spells on the ball, trying to get back into the match. United made their first change in the 69th minute of the match with Tosin Kehinde replacing Matty Willock. Sean Goss was booked moments later for a tug on the shirt of a Chelsea player, with a free-kick being awarded to the home side just off the edge of the box, which amounted to nothing.
In the 81st minute Josh Doughty made his first appearance at U23 level of the season, after making his first against Blackpool last season. Scott McTominay was the player coming off for United. United, still behind were doing all they could to get back into the match. Chelsea were still on the front foot, dominating the match. United had a few chances to try and get something from the match, but it just was not happening, despite being able to carve the chances out of the game. Chelsea added to their lead, scoring a third just before Aiden Barlow replaced Charlie Scott. United end 2016 in the league with a defeat but will be looking to change that in 2017.
Goals: Axel Tuanzebe 20′
Manchester United: O’Hara; Olosunde, Tuanzebe, Poole, Scott (Barlow 90′); Goss, Redmond; Mitchell, Willock (Kehinde 69′), Harrop; McTominay (Doughty 81′)
Substitutes Not Used: M. Johnstone, Boonen