United 3-2 Derby [19th Sept]
McTominay’s late winner sees United deserved winners over a resilient Derby side at Old Trafford.
Joshua Harrop bagged a goal in that game and continued his fine form in this after a neat ball roll he produced a perfect ball in for Scott McTominay to rise above the Derby County defenders and head the ball in off the under side of the crossbar.
United were on top until Derby scored an equaliser out of nowhere, after a corner was headed back across goal Charles Vernam got on the end of it to head it over the line and draw his side level before the break.
Harrop continued to thrive in the pocket of space he had all night, this time Matty Willock did well to win the ball and thread it through to Harrop who was brought down in the box and awarded a penalty, which was tucked it home low and hard to the left as United regained the lead.
But Derby hit back again, and again it was against the run of play. It came from a fantastic deep lying cross from the full-back which curved round in between Williams and Tuanzebe for Charles Vernam to produce a diving header to score his and Derby’s second.
Eventually the breakthrough came as there was a scramble in the box a lot of legs swung and missed the ball. McTominay seized his chance taking the ball down swivelling and powering it in for the deserved winner.
Following a few good saves from O’Hara at the end, United claimed all three points in an entertaining game which saw Joyce’s side score more than 1 goal for the first time all season.
Man of the Match: Although Joshua Harrop had a superb night in midfield. Scott McTominay was a man possessed tonight, although he wasted a few chances he managed to get himself a brace. As well as the goals he tackled hard and ran past players very well and deserved to be tonight match winner.
Line up: O’Hara, El Fitouri, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley, McTominay, Willock, Harrop, Redmond, Scott, Hamilton
Subs: Moutha-Sebtaoui, Olosunde (Redmond), Williams (Scott), Chong, Doughty
Everton 2-0 United [26th Sept]
Two clumsy goals see United go down to a strong Everton side on a rainy night in Southport.
Last years’ corresponding fixture was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, and the rain was lashing it down once more in Southport as the surface made for a scrappy but fiery match.
The rain had made the game very disjointed however it was evenly contested, but it was Everton who unwrapped Regan Poole’s present to take the lead.
There was no immediate pressure on the Welshman who’s unusually sloppy pass across the box was pounced on by Calvert-Lewin and put Everton in front.
But it was another gift from United’s back line which saw Everton double their lead. Axel Tuanzebe was caught underneath a cross which was headed in from close range by Oumar Niasse.
Everton’s formation and work rate proved tough to break down as they saw out the game with ease apart from a late Mitchell chance. The disappointing performance was condemned by the shabby goals let in as the lack of presence up front is starting to take its toll.
Man of the Match: Without the red-tinted specs Dominic Calvert-Lewin was fantastic player for Everton. However Axel Tuanzbe did impress at the back once more, despite the error for Everton’s second he battled well with Niasse and more often than not came out on top. Great block towards the end to deny Everton a third.
Line Up: Johnstone, Williams, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley, Scott, Redmond, El Fitouri, Harrop, Hamilton, Willock
Subs: Moutha-Sebtaoui, O’Connor, Olosunde (Williams), Kehinde (Hamilton) , Mitchell (Scott)
It was disappointing to see the lack of youth players involved during United’s EFL cup tie at Northampton last week. I know there was only a two day turnaround from the under-23s’ game against Derby County, but it was surprising not to see any younger names in the squad. With the exception of Fosu-Mensah and Rashford who are first-team regulars now.
As it turns out Marcos Rojo started at left-back and was at fault in the build up to the Cobblers’ penalty. Why waste any more chances with him when you have so many strong defensive options coming through from the reserves. Tuanzebe, Poole and Riley are the three players who looked most likely to step up, but didn’t.
I’m not always a fan of the League Cup, I believe teams in Europe should opt out of the competition to allow lesser teams more of a chance and clear up an already busy schedule. But one reason I like the competition is the amount of debuts that it has produced from United’s academy down the years. However if we aren’t planning to embed any youngsters in the first-team against Northampton when are we?
I’m sure you are all aware of FIFA17 being released tomorrow and a few United reserves players are now on the game, you can see their ratings below. Rashford’s not done too bad for himself as EA must seem to think these are the players with the most chance of coming through to the first-team this year.
There is now a 3-week break for Warren Joyce’s side, allowing plenty of time to improve the side, get back a few injured players and maybe even recruit a striker
United v Liverpool | Leigh Sports Village | 17th October | 7pm