Report: Angel Gomes inspires Manchester United to victory over Blackburn Rovers


Manchester United beat Blackburn Rovers 4-1 at the Brockhall Training Centre on Saturday afternoon. Angel Gomes scored a brace, one in each half before coming off. An own goal was scored, which was attempted by James Garner, deflected in by a Blackburn player. D-Mani Bughail-Mellor scored United fourth goal in the 79th minute. Blackburn scored a consolation six minutes from time, nullifying United’s clean sheet which was disappointing.

Kieran McKenna made a few changes to his side against Blackburn Rovers with Angel Gomes coming back after winning the FIFA U17 World Cup with England and Tahith Chong, albeit on the bench, making his return from injury. The home side had a chance in the 12th minute of the match through Kyle Connell, whose effort was saved by Theo Richardson. A minute later, D’Mani Mellor had an attempt at the other end, from a tight right angle, failing to get anything for his side.

United won a free-kick in the 17th minute which Angel Gomes took, which was close to putting United in front but just missed the upright. Five minutes later, Blackburn were on top in the match again and Richardson had to make another save to deny the home side from taking the lead. In the 25th minute, Daniel Butterworth had a shot of his own to break the deadlock between the two sides, his effort going wide of the target. Blackburn had a chance in the 33rd minute after some good play between Butterworth and Connell, the shot saved by Richardson.

In the 36th minute, United took the lead with another free-kick which was taken by Gomes, scoring on his return from the U17 World Cup. It was Gomes’ fourth goal of the season, which puts his side in the driving seat, piling the pressure on Manchester City, who have a lot to do in order to take United on at this level this season. In the 38th minute, Gomes took a corner for United with Dylan Levitt unable to get his head on the ball with United coming close to scoring a second goal.

With just over five minutes remaining, some good interplay between Gomes and Millen Baars could have created another goal for United, Baars’ shot just wide, being deflected and out for a corner. Ethan Laird was unlucky not to get something from the corner with United ending the half as the better side. The threat was cleared and Blackburn were back in formation seeking to get something before the end of the half. United won another free-kick in the 43rd minute with Gomes aiming for the far top corner with Matthew Campbell making the save.

United won a corner from the clearance and McKenna’s side were pushing for a second goal before the break. Blackburn intercepted the threat and gained some ground on United, who then collected the ball and continued their domination of the game. United, through Baars and Gomes, rushed forward to create something, but the latter was dispossessed by Blackburn, who did not seem to be all that good, especially in defence today. United ended the half 1-0 up with maybe more to do in the second half to secure the victory.

United started the second half in good stead, a goal to the good from the first half and quickly scoring a second goal with Gomes on the edge of the area, his route to goal blocked and passing to James Garner, who was at the edge of the box, shooting towards goal, albeit off target and hitting the head of a Blackburn player and beating the keeper. United were 2-0 up and on their way to victory.

Three minutes after United’s second goal, after Campbell received some treatment, Blackburn got a shot on goal through Butterworth, which was saved by Richardson. Blackburn won a free-kick at the edge of United’s box and Carter had the chance to get a goal back for his side, heading over the crossbar though. United still lead 2-0 and seem to be in charge of this fixture.

In the 63rd minute of the match, Gomes was fouled again, the Blackburn player being booked for doing so. The home side also made their first change of the match. United were playing deep in Blackburn’s half, with some good interplay. Baars was on the ball near the box, aiming to get a third goal for his club, putting the ball into the area and Mellor running in to try to score, failing to do so with United winning a corner, which amounted to nothing.

In the 70th minute, McKenna made his first two changes of the match with Tahith Chong replacing Levitt and Arnau Puigmal replacing Baars. United extended their lead to 3-0 in the 75th minute of the match with Gomes scoring his second goal of the game – he was then replaced by Largie Ramazani just after sealing the victory for United.

United extended their lead to 4-0 through Mellor in the 79th minute, really showing Blackburn up and taking charge of the U18 Premier League this season with Manchester City needing to dig deep and wait for United to slip up, which is this form will not be happening anytime soon.

Blackburn found a goal in the 84th minute of the match, which would only be a consolation goal, but one United did not want to concede – aiming to keep the clean sheet from the victory. Blackburn had another chance to score, failing to get the shot to register when it needed to count. United seem relaxed that the game has been won, accepting the three points but not bothered about conceding again after losing the clean sheet.

Goals: Angel Gomes 36′, 75′, Hayden Carter OG 53′, D’Mani Bughail-Mellor 79′

Manchester United: Richardson; Tanner, Barrett, O’Connor, Laird; Levitt (Chong 70′), Garner, Galbraith; Baars (Puigmal 70′), Mellor, Gomes (Ramazani 75′)

Substitutes Not Used: Bernard, Carney

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