Manchester United booked their place with Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League U21 Final with a 1-0 win over
the Scousers Liverpool at Anfield.
The game kicked off with Manchester United looking strong, having the better of the earlier chances. James Wilson missed the best of the earlier ones, hitting the post on the back on a poor defensive error by Liverpool. The early pressure didn’t manage to yield a goal unfortunately but we looked comfortable.
As the half progressed Liverpool began to find a rhythm, playing in a style not too dissimilar to the Liverpool first team. Creating a few decent chances of their own, although nothing quite as clear cut. AS the half began to draw to a close United managed to find a breakthrough – Andreas Pereira opened the scoring on 43 minutes with a serious strike, high and wide into the top right corner at the Kop End. You’ll be seeing more of that this weekend for sure.
Second half started off with Liverpool again looking pretty comfortable but as the half wore on, United grew in confidence and began to really impose themselves on the game. Lawrence and Pereira showing how dangerous they can be and really worrying the Liverpool defence. The Belgian Pereira threatened to double his tally with a shot similar to the one which got him his goal but it was too close to the keeper. Pearson, who also had a great game had a thunderous strike stopped by the Liverpool keeper and wasn’t able to direct the rebound goal-ward.
Harrop replaced injured Wilson on 83, who to be fair didn’t really impose himself on the game tonight. Ben Amos looked comfortable with everything that came his way and now United have the chance to retain the trophy they won at the first asking last season.
Warren Joyce spoke of his delight at reaching the 5th final of this sort in 5 years with the Reserves/U21 side and at how well the players have done having used 40 players in this seasons campaign.
All in all beating this lot at Anfield brings a smile regardless of the level, but some brilliant individual performances ensured that the smiles were all ours. Well done to Warren and the lads. A well deserved win.
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By Stephen Howson