A strong Manchester United side beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 tonight at the Lamex Stadium in Stevenage after a flurry of late goals.
Adnan Januzaj opened the scoring in the 87th minute direct from a free-kick before Spurs equalised almost immediately and then captain Tom Thorpe sealed the victory with a header in the 91st minute.
United’s win puts them on top of Division 1 of the Barclay’s Under-21 Premier League.
It was a goalless first half but both sides put together good moves albeit without really troubling the oppositions’ goalkeepers. Spurs had the majority of the chances and arguably the better of them also.
United built from the back with solid defensive performances from Thorpe and Vermijl in particular and Ben Pearson did some sterling work helping out his defence from his holding midfield role.
Unfortunately there wasn’t much service to the attacking trio of Wilson, Januzaj and Keane. Wilson was played mostly on the right wing and wasn’t able to effect the game in his usual way. Josh Harrop was forced off just before half-time through injury and Wilson was also replaced at half-time with a scheduled substitution as he’s eased back with his recovery programme.
The second half was a quieter affair for the most part. Spurs again had the better of the chances in the opening stages forcing a couple of decent saves from Lindegaard. Thorpe made a series of vital clearances and it looked like the game would finish in a goalless draw.
However, in the 87th minute United won a free-kick to the right of the Spurs’ penalty area after a challenge from Harry Winks. Januzaj took it and powered it home into the top far hand corner of the net with a stunning finish.
Unfortunately, Spurs equalised almost immediately. A poor clearance found it’s way back towards Lindegaard, who was fouled as he went to claim the ball. The referee didn’t see that and Oduwa was able to slot home. However, it’s at times like these captain’s step up and in the 91st minute Thorpe was there to head home from a corner and seal the victory.
That win puts United on top of the league table with ten points from four matches, ahead of last season’s Barclay’s Under-21 Premier League winners Chelsea on goal difference.
Manchester United (4-3-3): Lindegaard, Janko, Thorpe (c), Vermijl, C. Evans, A. Pereira, Pearson, Harrop (Rothwell 45 + 2′), Wilson (Grimshaw 46′), W. Keane, Januzaj.
Unused Substitutes: O’Hara, Tuanzebe, Weir.
Man of the Match: Ben Pearson, Tom Thorpe.