Manchester United have been crowned U21 Barclays Premier League champions after a thrilling 3-2 comeback win against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford tonight.
It was a superb game which either team could have won but Larnell Cole scored his second and United’s third with just three minutes left to make sure the trophy stayed in Manchester.
Both teams went close in the early exchanges with Lingard and Cole both doing well to create half chances for themselves and Tottenham’s Carroll and Ceballos both coming very close with good long-range efforts.
Spurs forward duo Jon Obika and Harry Kane, who has been on loan at Leicester this season, came even closer when they both struck the woodwork.
But the visitors didn’t have to wait much longer to take the lead when just two minutes later Obika managed to turn the ball home from six yards after Utd keeper Ben Amos had spilled a cross.
United tried to respond quickly and went close when Reserve Player of the Year Adnan Januzaj did well to win a free kick out on the left and the young Belgian whipped a lovely ball into the back post where defender Tom Thorpe came agonizingly close to finding the net.
The game got a little heated after that with the referee dishing out three yellow cards and Obika nearly extended Spurs lead in the 40th minute when he turned a Harry Kane cross onto the bar with Amos beaten.
Spurs kept pressing though and were rewarded just two minutes later when Obika intercepted a poor pass form Tunnicliffe and fed Pritchard who rifled in a great shot from 20 yards to send Spurs in at the break 2-0 up.
United coach Warren Joyce made a change shortly after half time with Lawrence replacing Pearson as United looked to get back into the game, and the home side should have had a penalty in the 56th minute when Januzaj’s cross was handled by a Spurs defender but the referee wasn’t interested.
Just four minutes later United did get a goal back when Ryan Tunnicliffe found Marnick Vermijl with a super through ball and right-back Vermijl found the bottom corner with a cracking finish.
United had the momentum after that and should have had another penalty when Larnell Cole beat the Spurs keeper to the ball and was tripped but instead of a penalty, the referee booked Cole for diving to the bemusement of the Old Trafford crowd.
That decision seemed to spur United on and in the 74th minute they made it all square off the back off a brilliant counter attack before Cole coolly rounded the keeper and smashed the ball home to set up an exciting last 15 minutes.
As the home fans called for a winner, it was the visitors that should have got it when Obika found himself clean through but the forward blasted his shot over the bar with just Amos to beat.
With 87 minutes played and extra-time looming large, United went on the attack again and after good work form Janzuaj and substitute Lawrence, the ball fell for Cole who finished clinically to seal the title for the United youngsters.
It was a typical United comeback and fitting that Sir Alex Ferguson‘s last ever season at the helm should end like this. A dramatic turnaround at Old Trafford with a late winner. United wouldn’t have it any other way.
Amos; Vermijl, Thorpe, M.Keane, James; Cole, Ekangamene, Pearson (Lawrence 56), Tunnicliffe, Lingard; Januzaj. Subs not used: Sutherland, Wilson, A.Pereira, Grimshaw