Home » Academy Match Report: Brighton & Hove Albion u23s 1-2 Manchester United u23s

Academy Match Report: Brighton & Hove Albion u23s 1-2 Manchester United u23s

by Colm Murphy

Coming off a poor run of form, Manchester United’s u23s travelled to Brighton for a Friday early kick-off in search of a much needed win.

The match got off to a strong start for United, with them taking control and looking dangerous down the left through Alvaro Fernandez, Shola Shoretire, and Isak Hansen-Aaroen.

United’s constant pressure saw them take the lead in the 11th minute through loan returnee D’Mani Mellor.

A ball played over the top from Charlie Wellens caused some confusion in the Brighton backline and Mellor was able to take advantage running through and striking to put United ahead.

The Manchester youngsters came close to doubling their lead in the 23rd minute after a superb ball from Shoretire to start a counter attack. After some clever passing from Mellor and Zidane Iqbal, Hansen-Aaroen was found open on the left and his curling effort sailed just wide of the right post.

Despite the miss, United’s relentlessness gave them the second just a minute later. Aggressive pressing forced a loose pass back from Brighton’s Lars Dendoncker and Mellor latched onto the open ball in the box and slotted into the bottom left corner.

It was all United in the first half as they struck again with a fast breakaway. Charlie Savage charged through the midfield before laying off to Noam Emeran on the left, who crossed low for Hansen-Aaroen. But the Norwegian’s shot was blocked out for a corner.

Hansen-Aaroen was causing trouble again moments later when he found a pocket of space to turn and dribble infield before unleashing a strike from the edge of the box that had the keeper beaten, but unfortunately it smashed back out off the left post.

The second half saw Brighton emerge with more energy and attacking prowess, with some dangerous balls into the box but Ondrej Mastny did well to deal with them.

Hansen-Aaroen was chasing a much deserved goal in the 51st minute after being played in by Emeran. Cutting in from the left the midfield maestro tried to carve open space for a shot but it was good defending and his effort was blocked.

Soon after, Fernandez broke down the left and switched play to Emeran on the right. The French winger’s shot was blocked but dropped to the awaiting Iqbal, whose deflected effort cannoned off the post.

The resulting corner was cleared to Savage, open on the edge of the box and his piledriving effort was smashed down the throat of the keeper who did well to hold onto it. Anywhere else on target and it would have been a certain goal.

Brighton made a late surge for a come back and scored in the 80th minute with a clever give and go on the edge of the box opening space for Marc Leonard to curl into the top right corner.

Despite an onslaught of attacks for the remaining time, Mastny proved too hard for Brighton to beat a second time, giving United the 1-2 win.

United: Mastny, Wellens, Fish, Hardley, Fernandez, Savage, Iqbal, Emeran (Mather 77), Shoretire (Svidersky 70), Hansen-Aaroen, Mellor
Unused subs: Mee, McShane, McNeill

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