Manchester United’s u19s hosted Young Boys yesterday and in similar fashion to the first team, had already sealed top spot in the group before the match began.
United took early control of the game as Maxi Oyedele charged down the right and whipped in a cross-cum-shot which forced the keeper to push the ball back into a dangerous area but Young Boys managed to frantically clear.
Marc Jurado caught the Swiss backline off guard with a quick throw-in finding Isak Hansen-Aaroen galloping into space down the right. Hansen-Aaroen picked out Alejandro Garnacho with a low driven cross and the Spaniard almost put United into an early lead as his effort cannoned off the post.
United continued to have a lot of joy down the right side with Oyedele proving a handful with his surging runs from midfield.
Young Boys’ first chance came in the 12th minute as they hit on the counter but Sam Murray was able to race back and mop up.
The young full-back was too complacent though and the pressing striker of Young Boys pipped the ball off him and hammered a shot straight into Ondrej Mastny’s face, leaving the keeper down and needing attention.
Hansen-Aaroen, who was popping up all over the pitch, found himself on the left in the 18th minute as he darted past a defender to the byline but his cut back into the area was blocked out for a corner.
Captain Marc Jurado was forced off in the 28th minute after going to ground and holding his head, a result of an innocuous challenge five minutes earlier.
United continued to be on top and Tyler Fredricson charged into midfield from the back and slid the ball down the right for Charlie McNeill to run on to. The clinical striker tried to catch the keeper off his line with an early chipped attempt but it was caught easily in the end.
The breakthrough finally came in the 40th minute through a quality delivery from McNeill, curling the ball in behind Young Boys’ defence for Garnacho to latch onto and strike into the back of the net.
Garnacho looked to double his tally just before the break after McNeill did well to hold up a long ball and slip the Spaniard through down the left. But the winger’s attempt was well saved in the end.
After the break, Young Boys came out looking fired up and playing with a higher intensity.
In the 57th minute Jonathan De Donno was played in over the top to run in behind alongside the covering Fredricson.
After slight contact the Young Boys forward went down easily but the ref awarded the penalty. De Donno stepped up to dispatch it into the left corner.
The second half was a much more tightly contested one, with both sides trading blows.
Young Boys’ striker Aaron Appiah stumbled his way through a group of United defenders and toe-poked an effort at goal but Mastny was there to save.
United immediately counter-attacked with Hansen-Aaroen playing Dillon Hoogewerf down the left and runninginto the box for the return pass before forcing a great save.
The Manchester youngsters retook the lead in the 79th minute with more top quality play from McNeill. Hansen-Aaroen was pulling the strings again to put McNeill through down the middle and the confident striker audaciously chipped the outcoming keeper.
The remainder of the game saw Young Boys go on an all out attack looking for the equaliser. But while they forced a goal line clearance from Sam Murray, they ultimately couldn’t get it over the line.
United now advance to the round of 16 where they await an opponent from the round of 32 play-offs.
United: Mastny, Jurado (Ogunneye 28) (Aljofree 74), Svidersky, Fredricson, Murray, Oyedele, Hansen-Aaroen, Mainoo, Mather (Hoogewerf 68), McNeill, Garnacho (Ennis 68)
Unused subs: Vitek, Norkett, Jackson