Home ยป Academy Match Report: Manchester United u19s 4-2 Atalanta u19s

Academy Match Report: Manchester United u19s 4-2 Atalanta u19s

by Colm Murphy

After a disappointing result against Villarreal last time out, United’s youngsters were eager to pick up a good result against their Italian visitors in order to put them in a good position for qualification for the knockout stages.

Lining up with three attacking midfielders, the match was certain to be an enjoyable watch from the off and both sides did not disappoint.

United immediately got onto the front foot with early chances from Shola Shoretire, Alejandro Garnacho, and Alvaro Fernandez within the opening five minutes.

The failure to capitalise on opportunities looked like it could prove costly for the young Manchester side as despite controlling the match for the first 20 minutes, it was the Italian side who would strike first.

A loose pass from Marc Jurado saw possession overturned and a quick driving run past Isak Hansen-Aaroen’s weak attempt at defending saw the Atalanta captain Simone Panada free to strike from 18 yards into the bottom left corner.

Atalanta looked to double their lead almost immediately through more sloppy passing from United and with no defensive-minded midfielder, Atalanta were free to charge at United’s backline. Fortunately, the Atalanta forward’s indecisiveness saw the attack fizzle out.

Going behind seemed to be the boost United were looking for though as they went upfield and hit back just a minute later.

Hansen-Aaroen found Zidane Iqbal in the middle of the pitch who strode forward 10 yards and struck a low driven shot into the bottom left corner from 20 yards out to equalise.

United were clearly in the mood as three minutes later they took the lead in the 24th minute through Joe Hugill. Marc Jurado played in Garnacho down the right line and the Spanish winger raced in behind Atalanta’s backline before squaring for Hugill who slid and poked home from four yards.

The all-out attacking from both sides was proving to be going United’s way and the Manchester side extended their lead in the 30th minute through Garnacho who got his well-deserved goal.

Latching onto a poor cross-field pass from Atalanta, Garnacho stole possession and shrugged off the opposing full-back who was pulling back on his shirt. The Spaniard then drove into the box and opened up his body to curl an inside of the foot effort into the top right-hand corner.

While United’s attacking setup was proving fruitful going forward it did leave them exposed at the back and Atalanta almost hit back but for a fantastic save from Radek Vitek, denying Alassane Sidibe’s volley from just six yards out.

United went into the break holding their 3-1 lead.

In a much slower-paced second half, both sides looked tired from the eventful first 45 minutes.

Early substitutes in the 60th minute saw Martin Svidersky come on for the injured Iqbal to add some solidity to the midfield. Along with Omari Forson coming on for Sam Mather.

Forson looked to make an immediate impact, with his first involvement of the match being to latch onto an Alvaro Fernandez cross and turning home with his left foot to make it 4-1.

With the match almost sealed away with a three-goal lead, United were largely comfortable for the rest of the match.

In the depths of injury time though, Tommaso De Nipoti scored a sensational consolation goal after going on a mazy run and unleashing a terrific strike into the top right corner from 25 yards which gave Vitek no chance despite being great on the day.

The final whistle was blown shortly after, giving United the 4-2 victory and placing them second in the group on six points after three matches.

United: Vitek, Jurado, Mengi, Hardley, Fernandez, Iqbal (Svidersky 61), Hansen-Aaroen, Garnacho (Hoogwerf 71), Shoretire (Gore 75), Mather (Forson 61), Hugill

Unused substitutes: Hanbury, Bennett, Oyedele

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