Manchester United’s under 21s went into tonight’s game with West Ham United knowing they could go four points clear at the top of Barclays Under 21 after Liverpool had lost to Fulham earlier in the day. United started this game with four players that could be classed as first team players. With Rafeal, James Wilson, Paddy McNair and Adnan Januzaj all featuring, Rafael despite being 24 is able to play in the game as an overage player. United started the game slowly and were punished for this by West Ham when they took the lead in the 14th minute. Josh Cullen played in a free-kick for the visitors and Joel Pereira rushed off his and missed the ball leaving Reece Oxford to head into an empty goal.
United then scored two goals in the space of 3 minutes, firstly Josh Harrop picked up the ball on the left wing and jinx his way into the box, there seemed to be nothing on and Harrop hit a tame shot that the West Ham should have saved easily but his mistake let United back in the game. Straight from the kick-off West Ham got a corner, which United cleared, Paddy McNair led a United breakaway and cut inside on left and played a ball through to Joe Rothwell, who calmly slotted the ball into the West Ham net. United seemed in control now until another mistake let West Ham back in the game, after a long ball forward from West Ham, Donald Love played a backpass to Joel Pereira and he missed the ball leaving Jordan Brown with an empty net.
United sealed the win through Josh Harrop’s second goal of the game on 63 minutes. The goal came from another goalkeeping mistake from West Ham keeper Sam Howes. With him letting Januzaj’s driven corner through his hands and Harrop volleyed the ball in at the far post. United keep Pereira redeemed himself for his earlier mistakes by twice coming for crosses late on as United held on for an important win that see them four points clear at the top of Barclays Under 21 Premier League.
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