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CONFIRMED: Johnstone, Tuanzebe, Poole & Harrop start against Everton

Manchester United U23’s travel to Southport to face Everton in the Premier League 2 on Monday evening. A week ago, United beat Derby County at Old Trafford in their first match at the Theatre of Dreams this season 3-2, with United taking the lead three times in a high tension match. United, at this level, are a depleted side with no out-and-out striker, which earlier in the season seemed to cost the squad, but now, individual players are stepping forward and pulling out the performances, much to the praise of their teammates and more importantly their coach Warren Joyce. United have a lot of work to do in order to retain their title this season, but nothing can be ruled out this early in the season. United need to find some good form in order to push on after winning their first match against Leicester City, losing against Southampton, then drawing against both Chelsea and Manchester City, before beating Derby County. Against Everton, United need to stand up and be counted, taking all three points away from Southport. Here are the starting XI’s and lists of substitutes for both teams this evening.

Manchester United:

Johnstone;

Williams, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley;

Redmond, Scott;

El Fitouri, Harrop, Hamilton;

Willock

Substitutes:

Moutha-Sebtaoui, O’Connor, Olosunde, Kehinde, Mitchell

Everton:

Hewelt;

Jones, Holgate, Kenny, Connolly;

Davies, Walsh;

Dowell, Calvert-Lewin, Dyson;

Naisse

Substitutes:

Duffus, Gray, Charsley, Henen, Williams

Preview: Warren Joyce’s U23 side looking to extend winning run against Everton

Haig Avenue, Southport

Premier League 2

Monday 26th September 2016, KO 19:00 [Live on MUTV]

Manchester United U23’s travel to Southport to face Everton in the Premier League 2 on Monday evening. A week ago, United beat Derby County at Old Trafford in their first match at the Theatre of Dreams this season 3-2, with United taking the lead three times in a high tension match. United, at this level, are a depleted side with no out-and-out striker, which earlier in the season seemed to cost the squad, but now, individual players are stepping forward and pulling out the performances, much to the praise of their teammates and more importantly their coach Warren Joyce. United have a lot of work to do in order to retain their title this season, but nothing can be ruled out this early in the season. United need to find some good form in order to push on after winning their first match against Leicester City, losing against Southampton, then drawing against both Chelsea and Manchester City, before beating Derby County. Against Everton, United need to stand up and be counted, taking all three points away from Southport.

United lie in eighth place in the Premier League 2 table this season, with eight points after five matches have been played. Warren Joyce’s side have a game in hand over Chelsea, Sunderland, Manchester City, Liverpool, and league leaders Southampton. Should United take all three points away from Everton, who are currently second in the table, United could rise from eighth to fifth unless they score more than three goals, which could see them leapfrog City into fourth, dependant on other results in Monday night’s matches, which could obviously change everything. Everton seems to be a tough side to beat this season, winning four of their last five matches in all competitions, losing to Sunderland a fortnight ago. United have won two, drawn two and lost one of their last five fixtures.

In order to find the best fit for his squad this season, which is already lacking a striker, Joyce will have to take some of the better players from Kieran McKenna;s U18 squad, with the likes of Ethan Hamilton, DJ Buffonge and Tahith Chong selected in recent weeks, with the latter yet to make his U23 debut in his first season at the club. McKenna’s U18 squad are doing well, winning three matches in a row by scoring five goals in each match, coming unstuck against Manchester City the weekend before last and beating Stoke City 2-0 on Saturday, which sees them third in the Premier League U18 league table, two points shy of leaders and current title holders Manchester City. There are plenty of players Joyce could still select for his U23 side with Nishan Burkart, Indy Boonen, and even Angel Gomes all playing well, which could see them needing to be challenged at a higher level at some point this season, which will benefit them in the long run. Joyce will continue to dabble with his side, finding the best fit for his players and getting the best out of them, which is something he does best. Everton will be a tough team to beat, but it is possible and I am sure United will venture all opportunities in doing so.

Manchester United U23 Squad:

Manager: Warren Joyce

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone, Kieran O’Hara

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

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

Forwards: Demitri Mitchell, Josh Doughty

Everton U23 Squad:

Manager: David Unsworth

Goalkeepers: Russell Griffiths, Mateusz Hewelt, Louis Gray, Chris Renshaw, Connor Hunt

Defenders: Tyias Browning, Mason Holgate, Brendan Galloway, Matthew Pennington, Jonjoe Kenny, Antonee Robinson, Morgan Feeney, Matty Foulds, Callum Connolly, Josef Yarney, James Yates, Gethin Jones

Midfielders: Tom Davies, Kieran Dowell, Conor Grant, Antony Evans, Jack Bainbridge, Michael Donohue, Harry Charsley, Tyrone Duffus, Beni Baningime, Nathan Broadhead, Nathan Holland, Joe Williams, Liam Walsh

Forwards: Sam Byrne, Courtney Duffus, Shayne Lavery, Bassala Sambou, Calum Dyson, Conor McAleny, Delial Brewster, Leandro Rodriguez, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, David Henen, Oumar Naisse

Manchester United U23 Top Scorers:

2 – Scott McTominay, 1 – Own Goal, Josh Harrop, Demetri Mitchell, Matty Willock,

Everton U23 Top Scorers:

6 – Calum Dyson, 5 – Harry Charsley, 3 – Kieran Dowell, 2 – Courtney Duffus, Antony Evans, David Henen, Liam Walsh

Manchester United U23 Form:- WDDLW

Derby County 3-2 W, Manchester City 1-1 D, Chelsea 1-1 D, Southampton 1-0 L, Leicester City 1-0 W

Everton U23 Form:- WLWWW

Arsenal 5-0 W, Sunderland 1-0 L, Bolton Wanderers 2-0 W, Leicester City 4-1 W, Derby County 2-0 W

Predicted Starting XI:

Predicted Score:

Everton 1-2 Manchester United

Ratings: Manchester United 3-2 Derby County – Premier League 2 2016/17

In Manchester United U23’s first outing at Old Trafford of the season, they faced a newly promoted Derby County side who were yet to get any points in this Premier League 2 campaign. United started well and took the lead through Scott McTominay’s head after Josh Harrop’s cross. They were then pegged back in initially controversial circumstances as Charles Vernam headed scored although replays confirmed that the ball did indeed just cross the line despite Sadiq El Fitouri’s best efforts to clear. The second half brought a Josh Harrop goal from a penalty that he won himself however yet again, Derby, Vernam specifically, equalised, after a great delivery from wide right that the midfielder came onto to head past Kieran O’Hara. With Derby sitting back and looking to frustrate United, they looked set to collect their first points of the season, however, with minutes left, McTominay swiveled to get his second goal of the night and get his side all three points which on the balance of play they rightly deserved. Here’s how United’s youngsters rated for the match:

Goals: McTominay 16′, 85′, Harrop 67′

Manchester United: O’Hara; El Fitouri, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley; McTominay; Scott (Williams), Redmond (Olosunde), Harrop, Hamilton; Willock

Substitutes Not Used: Moutha-Sebtaoui, Chong, Doughty

Manchester United

Kieran O’Hara

He had large parts of the game where he little was called upon although he was unconvincing at times in claiming high balls. He tried and failed to cut out the ball at the near post which led to Derby's first goal. He did however, make two important saves late on to help his team get all three points.

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Ratings: Manchester United 3-2 Derby County – Premier League 2 2016/17

He was better defensively than he has been previously and was reading the play well, for the most part, to intercept and win the ball early. He arguably could have done better to put off Vernam for Derby and Vernam's second goal but overall he did alright especially when acknowledging the fact that he was a constant presence on the right touch-line further up the pitch and put in some good deliveries.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

For the most part, he was defensively good and was great on the ball again although it was clear that he had more joy on the ground this game as both he and Poole struggled a little bit with their opponents' aerial threat. He might feel that he could have done better to stop Derby's second as he tried and failed to clear the cross in, although it would be harsh to call this a full-blown error.

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Regan Poole

He defended very well again and not only made some impressive tackles but then followed them up by consistently bringing the ball out expertly. He appears to be constantly improving on his skills with the ball and made several good passes from the back before making a few beautiful cross field balls when he was pushed up into defensive midfield near the end of the game.

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Joe Riley

As always, Joe Riley had a good game getting forward well and key played a key role in most of United's most productive moves going forward. He could have done better in pressing and preventing the cross for Derby's second but he effectively made up for it after his good work getting up the left-hand side eventually led to McTominay's winner.

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39 Scott McTominay

A good game for the midfielder as he continues to thrive in his favoured midfield spot. His first goal was a good header that went in off of the underside of the bar to get the lead. The movement that led to that goal was on display later on in the first half as he had two other good chances within two minutes of each other to extend United's lead. He'll likely think that he should have tucked away one of these attempts but he was getting in the right positions and a deflection away from him prevented another chance from a cross as he lurked dangerously in front of goal. He eventually scored again to grab the late winner much to the delight of himself and his teammates.

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Charlie Scott

Out wide again, Charlie Scott was defensively very good and was one of the key men involved in regaining possession for United as he was both tough in the tackle and smart positionally. He was tidy on the ball and didn't lose it much, however, he could have got forward more as his defensive mentality meant that he didn't always instinctively or eagerly get forward to join attacks but he put in a good shift.

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Devonte Redmond

It was a quiet game for Redmond and him never really got into the game. On the ball, he did little wrong but he was safe in possession for the most part and didn't do enough to win the ball back in midfield. He still needs to impose himself in matches more and on a more consistent basis as he is often a lacking presence on the pitch.

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Ratings: Manchester United 3-2 Derby County – Premier League 2 2016/17

It was a good evening's work for Josh Harrop as he continues to be the bright spark for United in the attack. After good work down the left-hand side, his wonderful cross onto McTominay's head led to United's first. He was influential in most of the side's build-up play and always looking to play the ball forwards. His slick and swift footwork led to him being fouled for the winning penalty which he took and scored himself to get the team's second. Following United's third, he harried very well and showed great fitness which is a testament to manager Warren Joyce's notoriously hard training.

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Ethan Hamilton

Much like in the last match against Villarreal, Hamilton found space well although he wasn't as effective in what he did with it as he was last time out. He got in behind well and could have assisted a goal for McTominay had he turned it in and his link-up play with Riley on the left caused problems constantly for Derby, especially in the first half. He was more careless with the ball in the second half and showed some signs of fatigue both on the ball in his decision-making and off the ball with his pressing.

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Matty Willock

At times it appeared to be quite a lethargic performance from Willock although he seemed to more of a reflection of his frustration as he tried to get on the ball and in behind in what is still an unfamiliar role to him upfront. He looked better towards the end of the match and almost appeared to have a second wind as his increasing involvement in play appeared to lift his spirits and energy levels and his passing was far crisper and once he was beginning to get found in his runs, he looked far more of a threat.

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Substitutes

Matthew Olosunde

On for Devonte Redmond. He had little time on the pitch before he played the ball through to Harrop for the penalty. He looked lively and he was a nuisance in the box which led to McTominay's winner which he'll also be claiming an assist for as the intent was there for the pass although it took a lucky nick of a Derby player on its way to Olosunde's intended target.

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Ro-Shaun Williams

On for Charlie Scott. He looked assured alongside Tuanzebe in what was only his second game back from a lengthy shoulder injury and his first back at Under-23 level, although it was the Under-21s the last time he played. He conceded a foul in a dangerous area after a rash challenge on the edge of the box which hinted at some rust still on his part and some of his passes were a bit off but on the whole he looked comfortable and ready to return to action fully soon and pick up where he left off to continue his rapid progression up the ranks.

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Report: Manchester United 3-2 Derby County – Premier League 2 2016/17

Manchester United’s U23’s faced Derby County at Old Trafford on Monday night looking for a first league win in four games after two draws and a loss. Derby County were yet to register a point this season and sat second from bottom in the league ahead of Leicester City on goal difference. United made one change to the side which beat Villarreal last week as Kieran O’Hara replaced Sam Johnstone in goal while there was the first involvement for 16-year-old Tahith Chong on the bench as well as a return from injury for Ro-Shaun Williams.

United had the first effort of the game in the second minute as El Fitouri’s right-wing cross found Harrop on the edge of the box but he dragged his shot wide of goal. Following a strong run down the left wing Riley tested the Derby goalkeeper from 20 yards in the seventh minute but his shot lacked power and was saved comfortably. United were dealing  comfortably with Derby’s attacks with Tuanzebe using his pace to cut out any danger. Josh Harrop was at the heart of all United’s attacking moves and it was no surprise to see him heavily involved when United took the lead in the 16th minute as he dribbled down the left-wing and checked back before crossing for McTominay to head home powerfully to make it 1-0.

Derby got into the game more after conceding and had a headed chance of their own which flew over before Tuanzebe denied what looked a certain goal with a brilliant last-ditch tackle in the 22nd minute. United went close to extending their lead in the 26th minute as Harrop struck a powerful effort from 25 yards but the defender got a slight block to take the pace off the shot and the goalkeeper saved well. McTominay was very lively for United and could have had a hat-trick as he went close twice in the space of a minute as he first got to Riley’s cross but his effort hit the post and then got on the end of Hamilton’s cross but fired over from six-yards.

United were regretting the misses soon after as Derby drew level as United failed to deal with a corner and the ball was knocked back across goal and Vernam headed home from close range to make it 1-1 in the 34th minute. United almost regained the lead immediately but Harrop’s dangerous ball across the face of goal was deflected out of the path of El Fitouri with the goal gaping. The teams went in level at 1-1 at halftime although United should have made more of their chances.

United had the first chance of the second half in the 48th minute and again it was McTominay looking to get on the end of a cross as he was inches away from getting a finishing touch to El Fitouri’s cross from the right-wing. After a complete switch off from United in the 54th minute, Derby went close to taking the lead as Walker headed narrowly wide following a free cross from the left-wing. In the first substitution of the game, Olosunde replaced Redmond in the 58th minute.

Derby were making it difficult for United to create chances in the second half as they defended in numbers but United finally made the breakthrough as they won the ball and broke forward quickly with Olosunde’s through pass finding Harrop who was brought down for a penalty. Harrop stepped up himself and smashed the ball into the bottom corner to give United a 2-1 lead in the 67th minute.  Derby were refusing to lie down however and went close twice in the 71st minute as Williams made two important blocks to send the ball out for corners.

Derby were level in the 73rd minute as a dangerous cross from the right wasn’t dealt with by Tuanzebe and Vernam connected with a diving header to make it 2-2. United’s main threat was coming from crosses and they took the lead again in the 85th as Riley’s cross from the left was kept alive in the box by Olosunde and the ball fell for McTominay who swiveled and fired the ball into the bottom corner from six-yards. Once again Derby rallied after going behind and twice tested O’Hara from the edge of the box but he dealt well with both efforts to push the ball away.  United saw out the game to claim the three points despite a spirited effort from Derby.

Goals: McTominay 16′, 85′, Harrop 67′

Manchester United: O’Hara; El Fitouri, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley; McTominay; Scott (Williams), Redmond (Olosunde), Harrop, Hamilton; Willock

Substitutes Not Used: Moutha-Sebtaoui, Chong, Doughty

Starting XI: Manchester United v Derby County – Premier League 2 2016/17

Manchester United U23’s take on Derby County at Old Trafford in the Premier League 2 this evening. United beat Villarreal 1-0 last Tuesday in a slightly delayed match due to the weather in the Greater Manchester area. Their previous two matches were 1-1 draws against both Chelsea and Manchester City, which made the result against the reigning Premier League International Cup champions was a much better result than was expected. United have the chance to get their season back on track this evening against Derby. The U18’s were beaten 4-0 by Derby at the start of the season and Warren Joyce has brought in both Ethan Hamilton and Tahith Chong from that level to strengthen his side this season, which does not have a recognised striker. Here are the starting XI and list of substitutes for both teams this evening.

Manchester United:

O’Hara;

El Fitouri, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley;

McTominay;

Scott, Redmond, Harrop, Hamilton;

Willock

Substitutes:

Moutha-Sebtaoui, Olosunde, Williams, Chong, Doughty

Derby County:

Ravas;

Stabana, Wassell, Cover, MacDonald;

Gordon, Hanson, Guy, Walker:

Jakobsen, Vernam

Substitutes:

Yates, Santos, Babos, Marsh, Skapetis

Ratings: Manchester United 1-0 Villarreal – Premier League International Cup 2016/17

In the club’s first foray into the Premier League International Cup, Manchester United’s U23’s faced off against reigning champions Villarreal at what can now be called the youth side’s home ground of Leigh Sports Village. It was an impressive start to the tournament for the young reds against a far more experienced side as they won 1-0 thanks to a Josh Harrop goal, in which they then controlled the game expertly. Regan Poole, Ethan Hamilton and Charlie Scott had impressive performances whilst Axel Tuanzebe and Joe Riley continue to look above their current level. On the whole, though the side can be proud of the way in which they went about a match that was delayed by an hour due to weather and floodlight issues. Warren Joyce will be pleased his team could get the result they wanted, winning their first Premier League International Cup fixture against the current holders. United next face Sparta Prague in December.

Goals: Josh Harrop 34′

Assists: Ethan Hamilton 34

Manchester United: Johnstone; El Fitouri, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley; Scott, McTominay; Redmond(Olosunde 46′), Willock, Harrop (Kehinde 80′), Hamilton (Mitchell 90+3′)

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson, Doughty, O’Connor

Here are the player ratings from the 1-0 victory over Villarreal in the Premier League International Cup:

Manchester United

40 Sam Johnstone

Johnstone did his job when called upon although he potentially could've been helpless for two of Villarreal's early chances as they got through United's defence twice in the first five minutes. He had no outstanding saves to make but that's no fault against the 23-year-old as he kept a clean sheet.

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Ratings: Manchester United 1-0 Villarreal – Premier League International Cup 2016/17

He was tidy in possession and was looking to move the ball around quickly in attack which contributed to United's upheld pressure on the Villarreal defence. However, he was suspect positionally and was fortunate that it didn't cost his side at different stages in the match.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

The new captain at this level put in a performance typical of him at this level, superb defensively and superb on the ball, there's little more he could do to impress any further. Although his runs forward are nothing new, one that he made in this game saw Tuanzebe find himself in a promising position offensively, as a result of which he hit a cracking shot from 25 yards out which could easily have doubled United's tally.

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Regan Poole

This was one of Poole's best performances since joining the club last summer. Committed in the tackle and making important interceptions throughout the match, the Welshman was defending on the front foot and was completely successful in doing so. He was also comfortable in possession and wasn't afraid to venture out with the ball, much like his centre-back partner, this greatly contributed to the team building up from the back and maintaining control of the match.

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Joe Riley

Yet another lively game from fullback Joe Riley. A great run forward early on almost set up Willock for what would have been the opener; it was a lung busting effort which deserved an end product but sheer number of yellow shirts in the middle meant that this wasn't the case but this was a sign of what was to come from Riley as he continued to get forward throughout the whole match relentlessly. He also did his job defensively and didn't put a foot wrong all night.

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39 Scott McTominay

Strong both in the tackle and on the ball, McTominay is growing in stature in games and showing why central midfield is his best position as opposed to lone-ranger upfront. He rotated with makeshift striker Matty Willock well, swapping positions seamlessly throughout the 90 minutes although he could mainly be found performing box-to-box duties. He was brought down numerous times when getting forward, a tribute to how elusive he was, he'd have hoped for better end product on his runs forward but he did well nonetheless.

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Charlie Scott

Scott was comfortable on the ball in what was his first start at Under-23 level and he would've done no harm to his chances of getting more minutes from here onwards. In an unfamiliar wide right midfield position, he got forward well and contributed to attacks, rarely if ever lost possession and, vitally, covered for El Fitouri well on numerous occasions, showing that he still had his defensive head on.

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Devonte Redmond

It was another quiet game for the midfielder although he was part of a well-functioning midfield which shut down Villarreal's efforts for the most part. Positionally he looked much better than in previous matches and made a couple of good cross field passes but he'll still be looking to impose himself in matches more, both in regaining possession and breaking lines going up the pitch. He was taken off at half-time but it is unknown whether it was tactical or forced.

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Ratings: Manchester United 1-0 Villarreal – Premier League International Cup 2016/17

Harrop got his first goal in a long time with what proved to be the winner for the Under-23s, as he was played in by Ethan Hamilton and finished well with his left foot from what was a narrowing angle. He was booked for simulation in the first half but got on with the game and was influential in the final third for United, with winning the ball high up the pitch as well as creating chances.

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Ethan Hamilton

The standout player for United in what was his first start for the Under-23s. The Under-18 player got the assist for Josh Harrop's goal and it was a fitting reward for his efforts. Playing in left midfield, he was proficient in attack and should have had the second assist for Joe Riley late in the game to clinch it but the fullback skewed his effort. He recovered the ball well consistently in the game and his pressing was second to none on the pitch; Hamilton also showed good awareness positionally, picking opportune times to drift centrally and take advantage of the space ahead of him, which led to his most of his brightest moments in attack although he wasn't afraid to try to beat his man done the outside.

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Matty Willock

In an unusual role for him, Willock put in as could a performance as you could hope for. His hold up play was decent and he often managed to keep hold of the ball and lay it back to his onrushing supporters. He lacked the movement of a natural centre-forward which is to be expected but he played the false nine position well and allowed his teammates to have some promising moments running off of him, he also dropped into midfield at times which added a needed extra body. Was the most impressive player in the dying minutes of the game for United as he expertly killed off the match further up the pitch.

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Substitutes

Matthew Olosunde

On for Devonte Redmond. He came at half time and done a similar job to Redmond although he came under slightly less pressure. Remains to be seen where he is truly most comfortable on the pitch but he put in a decent performance.

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Tosin Kehinde

On for Josh Harrop. Was energetic in pressing the Villarreal back line when he came on but he had little time to do anything on the ball as United looked to hold the game out.

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35 Demetri Mitchell

On for Ethan Hamilton. Only had little over a minute on the pitch.

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Report: Manchester United 1-0 Villarreal – Premier League International Cup 2016/17

Manchester United’s U23’s played their first ever Premier League International Cup match at Leigh Sports Village on Tuesday evening as they faced last year’s champions, Villarreal. United made one change to the team which drew with Manchester City in their last game with 17-year-old Ethan Hamilton making his first U23 start as he replaced Demetri Mitchell. There was also a place on the bench for 16-year-old Lee O’Connor who has impressed for the under 18’s since joining the club from Irish side Villa F.C. this summer.

After an hour delay due to a power cut caused by bad weather in the area, the game kicked off and it was Villarreal who started better with Ié going close in the second minute but his shot flew wide after cutting in from the right. Villarreal went close again in the fourth minute but the attacker tried to pass the ball when clean through on goal and the chance went wide. United began to get to grips with the game following a difficult opening few minutes and had their first chance of the game in the 17th minute as Harrop won the ball in midfield and drove forward with the ball but dragged his 20-yard shot wide of the post.

Following a brilliant run down the left from Hamilton, the ball found its way to Harrop in the box who went down far too easily under a challenge but the referee waved away United’s appeals and booked Harrop. The game was becoming a really competitive affair with both sides flying into challenges with McTominay winning the ball back for United on a number of occasions and Poole making a couple of important interventions. United took the lead in the 34th minute as the impressive Hamilton won the ball in midfield and carried it forward before playing the ball to the overlapping Harrop who finished well with his left foot to make it 1-0.

Following the goal, Villarreal began to come forward a bit more and a couple of efforts from the edge of the box but Johnstone dealt with them comfortably. When Villarreal did manage to create an opportunity in the 42nd minute with a dangerous cross from the right-wing United’s captain Tuanzebe was in the right place to make the clearance. Villarreal then threatened again a couple of minutes later from a 25-yard free kick but Johnstone again saved comfortably. United went in at half time leading 1-0.

United went close to increasing their lead in the opening minute of the second half following good work from Hamilton and Harrop down the left the ball fell to Hamilton in the box but he was crowded out by defenders. Axel Tuanzebe has been praised a lot this season for his defensive work but showed he has the footballing ability to go with it in the 49th minute as he won the ball on the halfway line and drove forward with the ball before unleashing a powerful from 25 yards which the goalkeeper did well to push away before Tuanzebe’s effort from the rebound hit a United player in an offside position.

Villarreal threatened to get back into the game in the 59th as Ié won the ball on the right wing and fired in a dangerous cross but Poole did extremely well to adjust his body and knock the ball out for a corner. United were doing very well to deny Villarreal space in attack with Poole and Tuanzebe stepping in to win the ball back quickly on a number of occasions and Johnstone a virtual spectator for much of the half. Hamilton continued to cause problems for Villarreal down the left and United won their first corner of the match in the 73rd minute of the match from another of his runs.

Villarreal went close to a spectacular equalizer in the 75th minute as Raba’s effort from 40 yards had Johnstone beaten but was narrowly over the bar. They went even closer a minute later as Gonzalez was allowed too much space in the box and smashed a powerful shot past Johnstone which hit the inside of the post and flew across the goal but stayed out. Villarreal were putting a lot of pressure on United in the closing stages as their experience began to show. United responded by replacing Harrop with Kehinde in the 80th minute.

The change seemed to give United a renewed vigor as they got back on top in the game and went close to extending their lead in the 86th minute as Scott’s dangerous cross from a left-wing free-kick was punched up in the air by the goalkeeper and McTominay’s header was blocked on the line for a corner. United went close again in the 89th minute as Hamilton came forward again and found Riley on the overlap but his shot flew wide of the near post. Villarreal went close to 97th minute equalizer but Fernandez’s header flew narrowly wide. United held on to secure an impressive win with Poole, Tuanzebe, and Hamilton all excellent.

Goals: Josh Harrop 34′

Assists: Ethan Hamilton 34

Manchester United: Johnstone; El Fitouri, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley; Scott, McTominay; Redmond(Olosunde 46′), Willock, Harrop (Kehinde 80′), Hamilton (Mitchell)

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson, Doughty, O’Connor

Starting XI: Manchester United v Villarreal – Premier League International Cup 2016/17

Manchester United U23’s face Villarreal for the very first time in the Premier League International Cup at Leigh Sports Village this evening. This is the first time United have entered this youth competition and it should be something which players learn from as they will be facing teams from other European leagues; Villarreal and Sparta Prague along with English side Middlesbrough. Warren Joyce has been left with a barebones squad with no out-and-out striker this season, which could change in January, or with the coach bringing players up from the U18 side, which should give those a much better challenge playing in an age group above theirs, which will also help with their development. Here are the starting XI’s and list of substitutes for both teams this evening.

Manchester United:

Johnstone;

El Fitouri, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley;

McTominay;

Scott, Redmond, Harrop, Hamilton;

Willock

Substitutes:

Henderson, Olosunde, O’Connor, Kehinde, Doughty, Mitchell

Villarreal:

Femenias;

Ie, Bueno, Fernandez, Felipe;

Morlanes, Guerra;

Garcia, Raba, Lazo;

Gonzalez

Substitutes:

Perios, Cantero, Acosta, Lopez, Doffo, Cantelapiedra, Martinez

Preview: Manchester United v Villarreal – Premier League International Cup 2016/17

Leigh Sports Village, Leigh, Greater Manchester

Premier League International Cup

Tuesday 13th September 2016, KO 19:00 [Live on MUTV]

Manchester United U23’s play their first match in the Premier League International Cup this evening against Villarreal at Leigh Sports Village. The Spanish side is currently the holders of the cup and based on that could well be a challenge for Warren Joyce’s side. United have played four matches in the Premier League this season, winning once, losing once and drawing their last two matches against Chelsea and Manchester City. Joyce’s side has lost many players this summer with some being sold and others being loaned out for the whole season, or part of. A striker is the main thing that this United side is missing, with means that Joyce will have to look at the U18 squad, who have won their last three matches by scoring five goals in each, which after last season would be something that many could have only dreamed of. Joyce will have seen many players who are currently performing well, which may suggest they are finding that age level easy and need a challenge. Against City last Friday, Joyce promoted DJ Buffonge to his squad, also utilised Ethan Hamilton, who played from the bench against Chelsea.

Villarreal have a strong side at this level, winning the Premier League International Cup last season and will be looking to retain the cup this season. United will be up for the challenge too, not entering the cup before and it allowing their players to face some of the best invited teams to play in the competition from the continent. Joyce is a winner and strives to get the best from his players and playing some of the better youth teams in Europe this season could bring out something new in his players. Normally United’s player’s would not play in a competition like this and may only get the benefit of seeing how foreign teams play by being sent out on loan to one of them. Speaking to the official Manchester United website about the Premier League International Cup and holders Villarreal, Joyce said:

“It’ll be an interesting game. It will be a good test for us.

“Villarreal won it last year and, judging from the bits I’ve watched, the teams were quite old in their make-up and they all treated it like a proper competition really. This was particularly true of the foreign sides who often played almost their B teams, as they are called.

“I expect a tough game but a clever game, tactically, and we will have problems to solve. I anticipate them being older than us as well so it will be a proper test and should tick all the boxes you want for it to be a really good challenge for the boys as part of their education.”

Manchester United U23 Squad:

Manager: Warren Joyce

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone, Kieran O’Hara, Ilias Moutha-Sebtaoui

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

Midfielders: Scott McTominay, Tosin Kehinde, Josh Harrop, Sean Goss, Devonte Redmond, Matty Willock, DJ Buffonge, Ethan Hamilton

Forwards: Demitri Mitchell, Josh Doughty

Villarreal U23 Squad:

Manager: Paco López

Goalkeepers: Ander Cantero, Joan Femenías

Defenders: Edgar Ié, Felipe Alfonso, Maldo, José Peris, Juan Ibiza, Marcos Mauro, Miguelón, Pau Torres, Ramón Bueno

Midfielders: Agustín Doffo, Aitor Cantalapiedra, Anton Shvets, Daniel Raba, Javi García, Leo Suárez, Manu Morlanes, Pablo Larrea, Ramiro Guerra, Chuca

Forwards: Carlos López, Carlitos, Franco Acosta, Mario González

Manchester United U23 Form:- DDLWLL

Manchester City 1-1 D, Chelsea 1-1 D, Southampton 1-0 L, Leicester City 1-0 W, Oldham Athletic 1-1 (3-4 penalties) L [F], Port Vale 4-2 L [F]

Villarreal U23 Form:- WLDLWW

Sabadell 3-1 W, Barcelona II 3-2 L, Gavà 1-1 D, Cornellà 1-0 L, Olímpic de Xàtiva 5-1 W [F], Al Rayyan 3-0 W [F]

Predicted Starting XI:

Predicted Score:

Manchester United 2-1 Villarreal

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

Manchester United drew 1-1 with Manchester City in the first Manchester derby of the Premier League 2 at the Etihad Stadium on Friday night. United took the lead in the 26th minute of the match through Matty Willock with Brahim Diaz equalising for the home side in the 63rd minute of the match. United played well throughout the match, despite City dominating them in possession at times. United broke forward at times, with City looking poor in getting back and thwarting United from taking advantage. Warren Joyce will be proud of his side, which has been left at barebones this summer, with many of the players filling in all over the pitch in order to keep playing as a team. Axel Tuanzebe put in another great shift at the back, partnered with Regan Poole, nearly keeping a clean sheet if it was not for Diaz scoring the equaliser for the home side. United face Derby County at Old Trafford a week on Monday, which should give Warren Joyce and his squad time to recover from tonight’s match and concentrate on getting back to winning ways after two 1-1 draws in the Premier League 2.

Goals: Matty Willock 25′; Brahim Diaz 63′

Manchester United: O’Hara; El Fitouri, Poole, Tuanzebe, Riley; McTominay (Dunne 93′); Scott (Buffonge 69′), Redmond, Willock, Harrop; Mitchell (Hamilton 65′)

Substitutes Not Used: Moutha-Sebtaoui, Doughty

Bookings: Joe Riley 42′, Ethan Hamilton 81′

Manchester United

Kieran O’Hara

Had a good game for United's second string. Made a few good saves. Unlucky to concede.

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

The Libyan right-back played well against his former club, getting forward at times and helping the defence keep City at bay.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

Had a great game for United. Seldom put a foot wrong in defence, but did put a short pass out, which could have cost United, but he regained possession quickly. Going to be some defender in a few years.

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Regan Poole

Much like Tuanzebe, the Welshman put in a good shift in the centre of defence. United were rather unlucky to concede just after the hour.

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Joe Riley

Riley had a great game, defending well, getting forward at times and hardly putting a foot wrong.

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39 Scott McTominay

Played in a few positions for United this evening, putting in a shift before getting a knock in the late stages of the match and being replaced.

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Charlie Scott

Played his part in midfield, had a good game. Won a corner for United in the final 20 minutes of the match before being replaced.

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Matty Willock

Scored United's only goal of the match with a great solo effort. Seemed like he wanted to make an impact and did.

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Devonte Redmond

Did what he needed to do during the 1-1 draw against United's bitter rivals. Got forward, helped on the attack and generally tried everything to help United get more out of the game.

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

Did well in the three behind the (makeshift) forward. Got himself into a few good positions, helped United get the better of City on a few occasions and worked back to help his side when dealing with City on the attack.

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35 Demetri Mitchell

Led the line from the first kick and tried to get the better of City, but his attempts were not breaking through. Got himself into a few good positions as did his teammates. Replaced after City equalised.

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Substitutes

Ethan Hamilton

Replaced Mitchell. Made his debut in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea, got his second appearance today. Played well and generally did what he needed to do.

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DJ Buffonge

Replaced Scott. After a great display for the U18's last weekend, Buffonge got the nod in the U23's this evening, threatened at times and tried to get United back in the lead.

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52 Max Taylor

Replaced McTominay. Came on in the final minute of the match, not enough time to make an impact in the match.

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copyright: JW