Manchester United retained the Manchester Senior Cup on Thursday evening with an emphatic 4-1 victory over local rivals Manchester City. James Wilson scored all four goals for United in the match, giving him a personal feat of 28 goals in 31 appearances for the 18-year-old, which I am sure will get him noticed by new first team manager Louis van Gaal, especially after having impressed Ryan Giggs last season and earned a first team debut, scoring twice.
Warren Joyce fielded a strong side and they immediately tried to get the better of their rivals with Andreas Pereira firing a shot from the kick-off. Soon though, City started to dictate the play, passing the ball in their slow tempo looking confident. Devante Cole, former United striker Andy Cole’s son, showed his skill by tearing down the left after Ben Pearson missed a challenge in midfield. Joel Castro Pereira on just got a touch to Cole’s shot, which may have been a cross, but Jordi Hiwula was able to get the tap-in to put City into the lead from a few yards out.
Tom Thorpe was then forced to make a saving challenge after City piled on the pressure through Hiwula, after being set up by Seko Fofana after some fine play. United needed to do much better if they were to prosper in the match. United’s lack or urgency was worrying, but James Wilson gave himself the push to compensate for 45 minutes of running. Pearson stole possession during stoppage time at the end of the first half, Wilson ran towards goal and put the ball into the bottom corner of the net. United were back in the match, but had so much more to do.
Warren Joyce brought Callum Evans and Josh Harrop, replacing Guillermo Varela and Joe Rothwell. There was a difference in play from United with Harrop adding a bit more fight to win the ball which meant more fluidity between Andreas Pereira and Wilson. Just seven minutes into the second half, Wilson burst through putting the ball past Angus Gunn and Pablo Maffeo, who did their best to thwart United’s attempts. United were ahead for the first time in the match and City were looking second best, but it was not over yet.
Wilson set up Andreas Pereira, but Maffeo deflected the shot wide, but United were baying for blood and looking to take that trophy back to Old Trafford. Gunn denied Wilson his hat-trick after a flick into the area by Tom Lawrence. Joel Castro Pereira was ambitious with his distribution, but Wilson was continuing to find more goals for the young Red Devils, despite seeing his left-doted shot blocked by the keeper. Wilson was on fire and it was only a matter of time before he found himself scoring again. He completed his hat-trick after Pearson, who stepped up his games after the break, snapped into a challenge and released the striker. The City defenders were trying to chase Wilson down, but didn’t stop him scoring, albeit off the right boot of Gunn.
Wilson scored his 28th goal in 31 appearances after Pearson once again won another tackle with Harrop, who had a good 45 minute stint in the match, passed the ball to the striker, who displayed a great first touch then angled a left-footed finish bast the City goalkeeper. United were 4-1 up and didn’t look like they were finished yet and the Manchester Senior Cup would once again be heading to Old Trafford. Joyce replaced Wilson with two minutes plus stoppage time remaining with Matthew Willock taking his place. Wilson was given a great ovation by the United supporters. This was a performance that will boost the player’s confidence ahead of the new season, which starts a week on Friday against Norwich City at Leigh Sports Village, kicking off at 19:00 BST.
Manchester United: J.Pereira; Vermijl, Thorpe, McNair, Varela (C.Evans 46′); Janko, Pearson, Rothwell (Harrop 46′), A.Pereira, Lawrence; Wilson (Willock 88′) Substitutes Not Used: O’Hara, Goss