Manchester United beat Sparta Prague 2-0 at Leigh Sports Village on the Premier League International Cup with Josh Harrop and Devonte Redmond scoring the goals, sending their Czech opposition home tired and needing a break after playing two matches in two days.
Nicky Butt named a strong side to face the Czech team this evening with Kieran O’Hara in goal, Matthew Olosunde, Axel Tuanzebe, Regan Poole and Demetri Mitchell making up the back four, Sean Goss and Matty Willock in midfield, Josh Harrop, Scott McTominay and Tosin Kehinde all playing behind Devonte Redmond. United started the game in good stead, getting forward to get something from the tie. Sparta Prague were doing the same thing, even though they cannot win the group or become one of the highest placed runner’s up in the tournament.
United took the lead on the 21st minute through Josh Harrop, the scorer of the goal earlier in the season against Villarreal, breaking through on goal, with the flag staying down, rounding the keeper and putting United ahead in the match. United continued to play well after their goal, but Harrop seemed to be carrying an injury, which will not be a good night for him, being his birthday and all. Devonte Redmond almost put United two goals to the good with ten minutes of the first half remaining, but his target was not a precise as it may well have been.
The first half of the match ended with United still in the lead through Harrop’s goal in the 21st minute, but it could have been doubled. United started the second half well, looking to secure their lead and bee in with a good chance of making the next round of the competition despite having to play Middlesbrough for the top spot in the group. In the 56th minute, Redmond scored United’s second goal after being assisted by Demetri Mitchell with some great play on the attack. United were near enough on their way to victory with the visitors seemingly out of the match.
In the 68th minute of the match, Butt made two changes with Charlie Scott and Callum Gribbin replacing Redmond and Kehinde. United sit in the top spot in the group at this moment in time, being two goals to the good and not conceding. Middlesbrough has played twice and won twice, scoring two goals, so United have a better goal difference ahead of next week’s clash. In the 78th minute, Butt made his final substitution with Sadiq El Fitouri replacing Olosunde. United were home and dry, but still carried on trying to ensure the effort was but in right to the end of the match, which seemed to be what Butt was ordering them to do from the sidelines. United ended the match, their second in this tournament was the winners, meaning next week’s match will determine who wins the group.
Goals: Josh Harrop 21′, Devonte Redmond 56′
Manchester United: O’Hara; Olosunde (El Fitouri 78′), Tuanzebe, Poole, Mitchell; Willock, Goss; Harrop, McTominay, Kehinde (Gribbin 68′); Redmond (Scott 68′)
Substitutes Not Used: M. Johnstone, Doughty, Buffonge, Warren