Sparkasse & VGH Cup Winners
United’s under-19s travelled to Germany last week for the Sparkasse & VGH Cup, a 5-aside tournament which spanned across 4 days.
With the youngest squad there, United won the trophy in extraordinary circumstances. Goalkeeper Moutha-Sebtaoui received an injury on the last day of the tournament, meaning outfield players keeping goal in true 5-aside style for the final few matches.
Eventually United won the tournament on penalties against Hannover 96, Callum Whelan, the tough tackling defensive midfielder heroically saved two penalties in the shootout.
— Connor (@9thConnor) January 9, 2017
United’s results read as followed; 6-0 vs JSG Hainberg, 3-0 vs JSG Nieste, 1-2 vs Mainz, 8-1 vs JSG, 4-2 vs Hamburg, 4-2 vs Sparta Göttingen, 2-2 vs Schalke, 4-2 vs Austria Vienna, 4-1 vs PSV, 3-1 vs Wolfsburg and then a 2-2 draw with Hannover 96 in the final, eventually winning the cup on penalties.
Across the tournament United’s top scorers were as follows; Boonen 9, Burkart 8, Bohui 7, Barlow 6, Gomes 4, Chong 4, Tanner 2, O’Connor 1. With a total of 41 goals scored, the team ended up as the tournaments top scorers.
The winning feeling is infectious for younger players and this under-18 side looked really pleased to go the distance and banish any memories of their early FA youth cup exit, this is one of the most exciting under-18 sides the club has had produced since 2011.
Mini Derby Defeat
United 1-3 City (Diaz, Goss, Buckley-Ricketts, Fernandes)
Regan Poole saw red early on for a two footed lunge, United resisted City well in defence but they ultimately lost out in the reserves derby.
What was shaping up to be an feisty but even contest soon reached a two-footed crescendo when Regan Poole recklessly went in with both feet off the floor. Although replays show minimal contact with the City player you can see why the referee sent him walking.
This initiated an attack v defence training exercise for the resulting 25 minutes in the first-half. United went to a back five with Sean Goss going full Michael Carrick filling in at centre back, and doing a good job of it too.
Joel Pereira was back in goal after returning from his loan spell in Portugal, he got back to his usual habits making some fantastic saves to keep City at bay up until half-time.
The inevitable did happen, however, when early in the second-half a cross shot all the way across United’s box to the onrushing Brahim Diaz who curled it into the corner. If anything the goal rallied United who decided to step out of their own penalty area and have a go at our wealthy neighbours.
Joel Pereira rushed out his box to sweep up a City clearance with a monster header, travelling a good 40 yards the ball came to Mitchell who managed to embarrass the City right-back and cut it back for Sean Goss to tuck home and make it 1-1.
The squad showed great resolve to equalise after almost an hour of defending, although it didn’t last long as City hit back. Buckley-Ricketts hitting in the rebound after an excellent stop from Pereiera. Soon after, Olosunde took too long on the ball and was robbed in a dangerous area as Paolo Fernandes nicked it and scored to make it 3-1.
In the end City were far superior and Poole will be rueing his challenge which really changed the game. Pereira made some very impressive saves and Goss maintained his growing reputation in the side.
Man of the Match: Kept his composure all match, became a defensive stalwart in the first-half and the main attacking outlet in the second, Sean Goss gave everything on the night, it’s a shame he couldn’t lift those around him to the same level of intensity.
Line up: Pereira 8, Olosunde 4, Tuanzebe 5, Poole 2, Mitchell 7, Goss 9, Willock 6, Harrop 7, Redmond 4, Gribbin 5, McTominay 6
Subs: O’Hara, El Fitouri 5 (Gribbin), Warren 5 (Olosunde), Kehinde 5 (Redmond), Scott
Sean Goss' goal against City pic.twitter.com/iaoMZ1kI8O
— United Reserves (@unitedreserves_) January 10, 2017
The 4th round of the FA Cup sees Warren Joyce return to United, a nice sentiment for the new Wigan manager, however he may not enjoy pitting his current crop of players against players he once nurtured at United, he will know Pogba, Lingard and Rashford inside out.
However another sub-plot to the match might see the return of Ravel Morrison, one of the most talented players to ever come through United’s academy. Even ‘better than Paul Pogba’ according to Joyce.
Ravel’s Twitter bio reads ‘The world is yours…’, however the popular Scarface saying might as well read the world was yours as Ravel’s attitude has let him down time and time again.
If he were to face his old team-mates later this month; one being the most expensive player in the world and the other an FA Cup final winning hero. Whilst Ravel attempts to win a contract at Wigan Athletic… he might just have a dawning realisation his attitude might just have hindered his career somewhat.
Liverpool u23 v United u23 | Monday 16th Jan | Anfield | 7pm