While the first team were preparing for their big match against Tottenham, the u23s were taking on Spurs themselves in Stevenage at Lamex Stadium.
Tied in the table, it was set to be an important encounter for both sides in their fights towards the top of the table.
The home side started the action with an early effort from Marcel Lavinier but Matej Kovar was up to the test.
United came into their around 20 minutes in when Shola Shoretire looked to have won a penalty for the visitors but the ref adjudged the foul to have been just outside the box.
Isak Hansen-Aaroen played a defence splitting pass for Shoretire running through who knocked it by the keeper but was dragged down by a defender while doing so.
It was just the beginning as there would then be a barrage of attacks from United, largely down the left hand side with some fantastic football from Hansen-Aaroen, Shoretire, Elanga, and Hugill.
Hansen-Aaroen played a clever give and go with Anthony Elanga to open space in the box but Tottenham’s last ditch defending got a block onto Hansen-Aaroen’s shot.
Amad Diallo got into the action in the 27th minute with a well picked out pass to find Joe Hugill in the box who cleverly laid it off for Elanga but the shot was to be blocked again.
A minute later and the free flowing champagne football was still on show as Elanga worked some intricate passing with Hugill before finding Shoretire in the centre. The midfielder’s effort would agonisingly come off the right post though.
Taking turns playing provider, Shoretire then played Hugill in behind but Tottenham’s defense was proving impenetrable as Hugill’s shot was blocked over the bar for a corner.
The resulting corner saw Amad curl in to find Teden Mengi wide open from 10 yards out, but the captain would blaze over the bar with a powerful volley.
In the 34th minute, Hansen-Aaroed shifted the play out the right to Amad. The Ivorian produced a teasing ball in behind which Elanga looked to latch onto and be free but the sliding Spurs defender just nicked it away and out for a throw.
After a 20 minutes spell of domination from United it was almost unbelievable that they had not scored from any of their chances.
The final five minutes saw Spurs regain some possession but they couldn’t create any openings resorting to a long range knuckle ball effort but Kovar watched its flight closely and did well to catch.
The second half opened with a quick long range effort from Amad who unleashed and unexpected effort which caught the Spurs keeper wrong footed but he was able to scramble across and tip the shot wide.
A rejuvenated looking Spurs side got back into the game though later into the second half, largely through Dilan Makanday with some direct running.
Marc Jurado was left twisted inside out as Makanday ran past him and hit a low effort which was deflected causing Kovar to have to push past his post for a corner.
A chance opened up for United down the right as Jurado overlapped into acres of space but Amad ignored the Spaniard, electing to come inside but his left footed effort was blocked.
Charlie McNeill came on for Hugill in the 66th minute and soon after was played in on the left by Elanga. At a tight angle, McNeill unleashed a powerful shot which rippled the net, but unfortunately was on the wrong side of the post.
After switching sides, Makanday proved troublesome for Charlie Wellens as well, winning a corner after Kovar pushed his effort wide again.
In the dying seconds of the match, Spurs crossed in from the right and a fluffed clearance from Mainoo saw the ball roll to Spurs’ danger man Makanday and he made no mistake this time slotting into the bottom left corner.
With only a minute left, the final whistle was soon blown and the match ended 1-0 leaving the United players bitterly disappointed after feeling like they should have got something from their performance.
United: Kovar, Jurado, Wellens, Mengi (c), Hardley, Svidersky, Diallo, Hansen-Aaroen (Mainoo 84), Hugill (McNeil 66), Shoretire, Elanga
Substitutes (not used): Mee, Hoogewerf
Read our player ratings for the match here.