Manchester United’s u21s returned to action in the EFL trophy in search of a must-needed result as they took on Bradford City.
The match opened slowly as both teams struggled to play through the midfield.
The first real action came when Alvaro Fernandez, playing out of position, took an uncomfortable touch and overturned possession.
Bradford’s Kian Scales pounced and got down the left where he had his shot deflected which caught Matej Kovar wrong footed but his quick reflexes saw him make the save.
The first real bit of quality came later when Shola Shoretire played in Zidane Iqbal who displayed some magic with a clever flick over the defender’s leg opening space for the shot in the centre of the box. Unfortunately, Iqbal’s stabbing shot towards goal was saved well.
Shoretire thought he had broken the deadlock when he put the ball in the back of the net after Charlie Wellens delightful cross was headed back by Joe Hugill. But the assistant referee’s flag for offside put an end to celebrations.
With the first half ending in a rather drab stalemate, Neil Wood looked to the bench for inspiration and made a tactical substitute bringing on Dillon Hoogewerf for Bjorn Hardley. This allowed Fernandez to switch to his more comfortable left back role and Charlie Wellens to drop into right back.
Immediately, the match showed more life and it only took a few minutes for United to break the deadlock.
After Wellen’s corner was cleared, Charlie Savage mopped up the loose ball and fired it into the crowd and a heavy deflection off of a Bradford player saw the ball hit the back of the net.
Shortly after Savage almost doubled the lead with another long range effort, this time sailing just over the bar.
Bradford looked to respond and caused United’s backline some trouble inside the box but they couldn’t get through Paul McShane and ultimately sent a wild shot into the stand.
Having injected much needed pace to the game, Hoogewerf blew past Bradford’s defence down the right and perfectly picked out Joe Hugill in the centre for an easy tap in to make it 0-2 in the 57th minute.
Shoretire looked to get into the action as he broke through and looked to have a great chance but tried to be too clever with it and ran into trouble before he could get his shot off.
Later in the match, Shoretire fed the danger man Hoogewerf inside and the Dutchman burst through the centre and unleashed a powerful shot into the left corner to cap off his brilliant display with a goal.
Late substitute Alejandro Garnacho looked to add to his u18s hat-trick from the weekend when he cut in from the left but his curled shot went just inches wide.
The dying minutes almost saw a dampener put on the night when Bradford scored but it was called offside leaving United’s clean sheet intact as they ran out 0-3 victors.
Read our player ratings for the game here.
United: Kovar; Fernandez, Mengi (c), McShane, Hardley (Hoogewerf 46); Savage, Svidersky; Wellens, Shoretire, Iqbal (Garnacho 86); Hugill (Emeran 80).
Subs not used: Mee, Jurado, Murray, Mainoo.