August 25, 2017
Manchester United Reserves were back in action on Friday night after picking a 1-1 draw against Leicester City. Confirmed by Jose Mourinho, Luke Shaw started again for the side while there were a few changes from the last game as Riley was dropped while Matty Willock who didn’t feature due to injury was substituted by Ethan Hamilton. Ricky Sbragia had confirmed before that Callum Gribbin wouldn’t be able to feature for the U23’s and was on the verge of missing the UEFA Youth League as well which starts next month. Having named a strong side we expected more excitement from this United side, however, things just didn’t turn exactly like this.
The game started in high rhythm as Manchester United U23’s were tested immediately with an aerial threat with James Wilson cleaning the zone fast. With the minutes passing by, the Reserves started dominating the game. Spurs had their first real chance around the eleventh minute as Edwards’ shot from outside the box couldn’t be reached from Richardson making it 1-0 for Tottenahm. Spurs’ strong start continued with the home side on high again as a corner delivered resulted fatal for United as Tanganga scored a beautiful header.
No results coming from the changes being made in the Starting XI with the right flank being asleep again and Wilson getting back to defend. Even Demetri Mitchell who has been in a good form in the past games is quietly suffering from pressure and Luke Shaw isn’t still getting into the game. In the system used by Sbragia tonight things were thought to work well but nothing good was coming from it that at the moment. When things were about to change, Pritchard benefited from a defense error in the left and Spurs were there with a third goal in just twenty-five minutes.
Shocking result for the side who clearly have a lot to learn and get used to the new system the manager has set including the new players who have recently been promoted from the U18’s. In the remaining minutes of the first half, it was Tottenham dominating again as the midfield wasn’t working well for United. Ethan Hamilton who started alongside McTominay did a couple of errors who caused United two goals and he wasn’t much comfortable with the ball during the game.
The Tottenham manager knew where to hit and clearly United didn’t stand a chance, it was all about them and at the moment we forgot that we had a striker in Wilson and another one who was playing more as a winger like Josh Bohui. The start of the second half wasn’t much of a difference from the first with Tottenham clearly looking for the fourth goal and United struggling to defend again. However, there was more action from the Reds in this one as Demetri Mitchell woke up and was being more aggressive in the left while the others kept moving.
Scott McTominay was desperate to get a goal for the side but nothing was working for him tonight and he couldn’t help up front with James Wilson being isolated and this system wasn’t being helpful at all. The main man, Demetri Mitchell kept taking responsibility by shooting a free kick yet targeting the wrong red as McTominay was marked immediately when Ethan Hamilton was free and could have scored. It wasn’t his night but James Wilson completing 77 minutes was a delight for him and the fans while Luke Shaw looked more active in the second.
Josh Bohui and Indy Boonen tried to score at least a goal for United but nothing was getting through as in another shot the ball hit the post. Important lessons to be taken from tonight’s game as a few of the players still need to adapt within the team while others must improve. United at least deserved one goal but they were unlucky. However, we take the positives from a great second half, but these young lads might want to react from the very beginning. It is just the third game, but we leave London without a point and this is indeed not a good thing for our chances of getting back on the top.
Manchester United: Richardson; Olosunde, Warren, Tuanzebe, Shaw; Hamilton, McTominay; Bohui, Boonen, Mitchell; Wilson (Buffonge 78′)
Substitutes Not Used: Sang, M. Johnstone, Whelan, Scott