Ratings: Manchester United 1-0 Leicester City – Premier League 2 2016/17

In a typically tough fixture at this level against Leicester, the young Reds managed to come out on top at Leigh Sports Village in their opening Premier League 2 match. An experienced Leicester side featuring Gokhan Inler and Liam Moore as well as former United academy players Matty James and Tom Lawrence proved to be a stern test and for most of the match they were on top, ultimately more than doubling United’s number of shots. The first half was a tame affair with Leicester looking the more likely, a powerful shot from Cameron Borthwick-Jackson straight at the keeper being the only highlight from a Manchester United perspective, but the second half was much more spiky and the game opened up, allowing more chances for both sides and keeping Sam Johnstone very active in what was a man of the match performance from him. Marcus Rashford watched on from the stands and no doubt would’ve been on his feet as his former team-mate Demetri Mitchell won the game for United with a well-executed lob after some route one work from Johnstone.

Manchester United

40 Sam Johnstone

A really impressive performance from the United keeper. He showed why he's above this level with countless important saves, one of which prevented an own goal from Regan Poole. "Switch on" was the call from Johnstone after the winning goal, showing his experience in comparison with his teammates at this level, being at the threshold of this U23 level at 23 years of age.


Joe Riley

Another busy performance from Riley who was ever present both at the back and in the final third. Not much came off for him going forward and he committed several cheap fouls throughout the game but it was solid as you'd expect from the 19-year-old.


Regan Poole

Poole was a key part of a sturdy defence which came under a lot of pressure. An important block to deny a good chance was no less than you'd expect from the all-action defender and he can be proud of the shift he put in although he has Johnstone to thank for not scoring an own goal when intercepting a dangerous cut-back.


38 Axel Tuanzebe

The standout player of the defensive line on the night, it's becoming a common theme to say that he was solid in defence and hopefully we'll be saying the same about him in the first team in and for years to come. Assured on the ball as always and notably strong even up against experience, it was just another day at the office for Tuanzebe.


Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

Up against Leicester's new signing Bartosz Kapustka, Borthwick-Jackson didn't embarrass himself at all and didn't look much like a player that had just returned from injury. He saw a decent effort saved in the first half and should have had an assist after his excellent cross ran across the face of goal untouched.


Devonte Redmond

Much like Willock, Redmond was good in possession without doing anything too exceptional with it. He spread play well though and looked decent in the deeper role that was vacated by Goss due to injury. He still needs to impose himself more in matches both in defence and attack in order to catch the eye.


Matty Willock

A tidy game from Willock, who will look to recapture his form from a very impressive season last year. He was anonymous at times but, much like in his last match, he looked to get more involved in the second half and he will hopefully build on that.


Matthew Olosunde

One of the key components of United's struggles in the attack, it was a quiet match for the American out wide. He showed glimpses of what he's potentially capable of with some neat footwork under pressure and one or two attempted drives forward but he's still yet to make his mark at this level.


Ratings: Manchester United 1-0 Leicester City – Premier League 2 2016/17

Harrop looks to be United's chief creator at Reserve level this season on paper and you could see why as he probed and attempted to orchestrate the runs of the men in front of him, although the lack of a recognised striker made things hard. A feisty challenge that on another day might have seen him carded was indicative of his grit and determination; everything about his performance suggested that he wasn't settling for a draw. He'll be looking to pose more of a goal threat in future but he looked bright regardless.


Tosin Kehinde

The naturally central Kehinde found it difficult at wide left although he'll no doubt be grateful for the games time as he embarks on his debut season at U23 level. He was slick and assured on the ball although he created little apart from a pull back for James Weir after beating his man.


Ratings: Manchester United 1-0 Leicester City – Premier League 2 2016/17

A stark lack of service was the main issue for Weir in the first half although he wasn't where he needed to be when the chances did begin to come in the second half. This was perhaps due to his unfamiliarity in the role, however, he was noted for his good movement of the ball last season. He looked lost at times and was careless with the ball although he improved when Mitchell came on, allowing Weir to move out to the left-hand side that he made his own last season.



35 Demetri Mitchell

Replaced Matt Olosunde. The match winner; Mitchell came on and looked eager to impress from the get-go, probably culminating in a bit of over exuberance and some wrong decisions, his positivity though was refreshing as he took players on and made runs in behind constantly. He was able to keep a cool head for the chance that came his way as he hit a wonderful first-time lob over the keeper to give United the lead that by that stage didn't look like coming.


Goals: Demetri Mitchell 87′

Assists: Sam Johnstone 87′

Manchester United: Johnstone; Riley, Poole, Tuanzebe, Borthwick-Jackson; Redmond, Willock; Olosunde (Mitchell 69′), Harrop, Kehinde; Weir

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Whelan, Scott, Tanner

Report: Manchester United 1-0 Leicester City – Premier League 2 2016/17

Manchester United started their new season in the Premier League 2, division one with a 1-0 win against Leicester City at Leigh Sports Village on Monday evening. United U23 manager Warren Joyce picked a strong side, despite not having a true striker in his team, based on the fact that the likes of Will Keane and James Wilson could be spending this season away from the club on loan, or move permanently. Joyce selected Sam Johnstone, an experienced goalkeeper to fortify his team, bolstered with Joe Riley, Regan Poole, Axel Tuanzebe and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson forming the back four. Devonte Redmond and Matty Willock completed the midfield, with the three behind the striker being Matt Olosunde, Josh Harrop, and Tosin Kehinde, with captain James Weir leading the line.

United started well with the ball, looking to break down their opposition. With no recognised striker, despite Weir playing in that role, the advantage seemed to be that Leicester did not know who would be playing in that role, with Weir floating about in the front three. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson looked lively in the left-back position, getting forward like he did for the first team last season, firing a shot towards goal. Matt Olosunde was another who was performing well – naturally a defender, but recently playing on the right-wing, which he has experience in as he started out as a winger. United were trying to do all they could to break the deadlock, but so far, Leicester seemed to be an even match.

Just after half an hour, United looked good on the attack through Kehinde, Willock and Weir going forward. The latter lofted the ball into the box, but he was ruled offside. United looked quick on the attack and determined to get something out of it. Leicester then kept possession for a period of time, before United regained the ball and attempted to break their opposition down again, to no avail. Tom Lawrence, a former United Academy player had a shot on goal with ten minutes to go in the first half, which was off target completely. United seemed to be dealing with everything Leicester could throw at them, but the same was the case for what United were trying to throw at Leicester. United need some inspiration.

Another former United Academy player Ritchie De Laet had a header on goal, which again was wide of the mark. Leicester also had Matty James playing, another former Academy player. They seem to have a few of those accumulated within their entire squad, an obsession maybe? In the dying minutes of the first half, Leicester found the back of the net, but the goal was disallowed for being offside. Sam Johnstone put in a good save to try and deny the shot. At the end of the first half, the scores were still level with few chances to change that. The second half would be something of a different affair with both teams trying to take advantage to find that match winning goal.

At the start of the second half, Leicester had a chance on goal through Gokhan Inler, a first team player not needed at the club, similar to Bastian Schweinsteiger at United, his shot was not something that troubled Johnstone. United immediately were on the attack through Harrop, who passed to Willock, whose shot on goal was on target, but direct to the keeper. Leicester again were trying to get something out of the match through Kaputska and Inler, with neither effort troubling Sam Johnstone. Axel Tuanzebe seemed to be having a good game, though, getting the better of Leicester every time he needed to get involved.

Manchester United made their first substitution of the match bringing on Demetri Mitchell for Matt Olosunde with Warren Joyce looking to add some spice to the game with Mitchell the most likely goalscorer for United. Both Leicester and United had attempted in the run up to the substitution, but nothing was getting the better of either side. Almost straight away Mitchell made an impact, but his resulting shot was thwarted by the away side. In the final 15 minutes of the match, both sides were getting lively looking for that elusive goal – Johnstone thwarted another effort from Leicester, earning his clean sheet so far in this match.

Leicester City’s Mitchell got the better of Regan Poole on the attack, but Johnstone stepped in to stop the away side from taking the advantage. Good play from the United shot stopper. Leicester were again on the attack in the final ten minutes of the match with the away side getting the better of Tuanzebe, which has to be the first time in the match. Tosin Kehinde stepped in and thwarted Leicester’s chance of finding anything to win them the match. Still all square.

United won a free-kick just outside of the Leicester area, with United passing the ball back instead of going for goal. The ball then finds its way back to Johnstone, who under pressure puts the ball out for a Leicester throw, which amounts to nothing. United then went on the attack, again with nothing coming from it, with Leicester doing the same. United then went on the attack with them winning a free-kick with Harrop looking to make a dent in the Leicester scoreline, but his shot was straight at the keeper.

With three or so minutes remaining, Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone put Demetri Mitchell through on goal after a lofted pass and a stunning run from the player, he then chipped the goalkeeper from a distance to put United into the lead. United were 1-0 with minutes left to play. United played the additional three minutes of added time, stifling out their opposition to holding onto their 1-0 lead, taking all three points from their opening match of the season. Next up for United will be Southampton in a weeks time at St Mary’s. Man of the Match: Axel Tuanzebe

Goals: Demitri Mitchell 87′

Assists: Sam Johnstone 87′

Manchester United: Johnstone; Riley, Poole, Tuanzebe, Borthwick-Jackson; Redmond, Willock; Olosunde (Mitchell 69′), Harrop, Kehinde; Weir

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Whelan, Scott, Tanner

Starting XI: Manchester United v Leicester City – Premier League 2 2016/17

Manchester United’s U21 Premier League champions start their season tonight at home against Leicester City. Last season, United fought off the challenge of Sunderland to retain the trophy they won a year ago in style. Warren Joyce’s side showed that they were capable of  beating the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City to the top spot, both of which did not have the greatest ever of seasons. United will be looking to get a good start in the Premier League 2, a new format in the competition where players under the age of 23 can compete, including an overage goalkeeper and up to three overage outfield players. United will be without a striker for much of the new season, with both James Wilson and Will Keane set to be sold on, or be sent out on loan. In the Lancashire Senior Cup at the start of the month, United utilised Scott McTominay as a striker, which could be something which is seen for much of the season coming. Here are the starting XI’s and lists of substitutes for both teams this evening.

Manchester United:


Riley, Poole, Tuanzebe, Borthwick-Jackson;

Redmond, Willock;

Olosunde, Harrop, Kehinde;



Henderson; Whelan, Scott, Tanner, Mitchell

Leicester City:


De Late, E. Moore, L. Moore, Wood;

Kaputska, Inler, James, Lawrence;

Mitchell, Muskwe


Johnson, Bramley, Miles, Barnes, Ndukwu

Preview: Manchester United v Leicester City – Premier League 2 2016/17

Leigh Sports Village, Leigh

Premier League 2

Monday 15th August 2016, KO 19:00 [Live on MUTV]

Manchester United U23’s open the new Premier League 2 season as reigning U21 champions, facing Leicester City U23’s. Last season United dominated at this age level having the experience of Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira to help them, but Warren Joyce’s side had potential before both were drafted in to help the U21’s retain their league title. This season the same faces will be present; James Weir, Joshua Harrop, Matty Willock, Dean Henderson, Sadiq El Fitouri, Joe Riley, Axel Tuanzebe et al. United will be looking to dominate once again, winning the first Premier League 2 trophy, to add to the trophies they have won over the past few years. The Premier League 2 might offer a bit more competition this season in that things have changed. Warren Joyce has noticed change over the last few years, saying:

“I’ve noticed the league has been more competitive over the last two years really. There were signs last year people weren’t sending their best players out on loan necessarily because they were keeping them and trying to develop them themselves. There were a lot of competitive games, some good football played, a number of games at stadiums and with reasonable crowds. 

“I noticed that last year and certain similar tactical problems crop up to those at first-team level to help develop the boys. I guess it’s a bit of wait and see really but the main concern is ourselves and just to set up in the way we want to play so the players know their jobs with and without the ball.”

This season, emergency loan moves are no longer allowed with all loan spells needing to be completed by the closure of the summer transfer window, which closes at 23:00 BST on Wednesday 31st August 2016. This will give managers like Joyce a little bit more surety with his squad, knowing that talented players who have not moved on deadline day will be with him until at least January, maybe the remainder of the season. Currently, Adnan Januzaj and Guillermo Varela are the only two players to have made loan moves to Sunderland and Eintracht Frankfurt respectively. Speaking of loan moves, suggesting that more players could leave in the coming weeks, Joyce said:

“I would imagine, over the coming weeks, a few more will leave on loan. They are ready for those steps and have got to be playing against men to show what they can do and push on from now. Once the window shuts, you know exactly what you’ve got and what your numbers are.”

Manchester United have seen a few players leave this summer, namely Joe Rothwell who left for Oxford United, Donald Love, and Paddy McNair both left for Sunderland and Nick Powell, now at Wigan Athletic. This may have left United a little short in the ranks with other players looking to fill the void. The Premier League 2 will now allow players under the age of 23 fill the squads with one overage goalkeeper and up to three overage outfield players allowed to compete in the squad. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, a first team player last season, is not in Jose Mourinho’s plans for the coming season and could face a loan spell away from the club, could be involved if fit, as could Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who again played within the first team last season, but is again not in Mourinho’s plans for the coming season, but has a big future with the team – could also be involved if fit. Scott McTominay was drafted in as a makeshift centre-forward against Oldham Athletic in the Lancashire Senior Cup, with United losing on penalties, which could well be the case again, unless Will Keane will be drafted in as the striker, or even James Wilson, who both will not be involved in the first team this season, with loan moves or even permanent moves on the cards.

Scott McTominay was drafted in as a makeshift centre-forward against Oldham Athletic in the Lancashire Senior Cup, with United losing on penalties, which could well be the case again, unless Will Keane will be drafted in as the striker, or even James Wilson, who both will not be involved in the first team this season, with loan moves or even permanent moves on the cards. One player who will not be involved is Joel Castro Pereira who is currently representing Portugal at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer, with his side making it to the quarter-final stage, being beaten 4-0 by Germany.

Manchester United U23 Squad:

Manager: Warren Joyce

Goalkeepers: Joel Castro Pereira, Dean Henderson, Kieran O’Hara

Defenders: Matthew Olosunde, Axel Tuanzebe, Regan Poole, Charlie Scott, Sadiq El Fitouri, Joe Riley

Midfielders: Scott McTominay, James Weir, Tosin Kehinde, Josh Harrop, Sean Goss, Devonte Redmond, Matty Willock

Forwards: Demitri Mitchell, Josh Doughty

Leicester City U23 Squad:

Manager: Steve Beaglehole

Goalkeepers: Daniel Iversen, Max Bramley

Defenders: Callum Elder, Cedric Kipre, Elliott Moore, Josh Knight, Darnell Johnson

Midfielders: Michael Cain, Danny Rowe, Matty Miles, Harvey Barnes, Brandon Fox, Hamza Choudhury

Forwards: Admiral Muskwe, Kairo Mitchell, Layton Ndukwu, Raul Uche

Manchester United U23 Form:

Oldham Athletic 1-1 (3-4 penalties) L, Port Vale 4-2 L, Salford City 5-1 W, Altrincham 2-1 W, Blackpool 3-0 L

Leicester City U23 Form:

Notts County 2-0 W, The New Saints 2-1 W, Rosenborg 3-2 W, Chesterfield 3-1 L, Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 D, Nuneaton Town 2-0 W, Fakenham Town 7-0 W, Ilkeston 3-1 W

Predicted Starting XI:

Predicted Score:

Manchester United 2-1 Leicester City

copyright: JW