Manchester United opened the Barclays Under-21s Premier League tonight with a 3-0 win over Norwich tonight.
United were without a recognised striker as James Wilson picked up an injury in first team training ahead of the Valencia game and Ashley Fletcher was also struggling with injury. The Reds lined up in a 5-3-2 formation, the same shape that the first-team currently uses.
United got off to a quick start when Lawrence gave United the lead in the 14th minute. Andreas Pereira found Joe Rothwell who went on a lovely run before he lost possession and Tom Lawrence was there to back heel it back to Rothwell, who took on the shot.
The Norwich keeper managed to get his foot to make the save only to see Lawrence pounce and tap in from a yard out.
United were comfortable with Ben Pearson pulling the strings in the midfield and Saidy Janko looking threatening on the right flank. The continued threat paid off as it was Pearson who picked out Paddy McNair by placing the ball on his head to put United 2-0 up after 33 minutes.
The half ended in a bit of chaos with a scuffle breaking out following a retaliatory challenge from Josh Harrop. Lawrence was involved in pushing and shoving with some Norwich players. Luckily, Pearson and Thorpe stepped in to cool things down. The referee booked Harrop for the tackle and gave everyone else a talking to.
The second half was a much quieter affair. United took their foot off the pedal and Norwich were content to sit back. Harrop continued to do well and capped his performance with a fantastic goal in the 77th minute. He played a neat one-two with Rothwell before firing home into the far corner.
Manchester United: J. Pereira, McNair, Thorpe (McConnell 87′), Varela, Janko, Rothwell (Weir 78′), Pearson, Harrop, Goss (C. Evans 46′), A. Pereira, Lawrence.
Unused substitutes: O’Hara, Willock
Men of the Match: Thorpe/Pearson/Harrop.