Manchester United’s senior side weren’t the only team in action last night, as the u23s took on Leeds United at Elland Road.
It was Leeds causing all the danger in the opening phases and, if not for a wonderful save from Ondrej Mastny, would have taken the lead in the 8th minute.
Jack Jenkins had won the ball in midfield and found a teammate on the right before bursting into the box for the return pass but the Leeds midfielder couldn’t beat Mastny from six yards out.
Leeds couldn’t be held out forever though and took the lead minutes later.
After dispossessing Zidane Iqbal in the midfield, Leeds worked the ball around United’s box before a blocked shot fell perfectly for Stuart McKinstry to guide into the far corner.
Leeds almost doubled the lead when Bjorn Hardley fluffed his lines, missing his clearance and allowing Crysencio Summerville in behind to chip over Mastny but it bounced agonisingly wide.
Long balls in behind were causing United trouble throughout the night as Summerville latched onto another ball and squared for Max Dean to strike just wide of the left post again.
In a half dominated by Leeds, a chance finally fell to Manchester United’s striker but D’Mani Mellor’s deft chip from close range was stopped by the keeper’s outstretched left hand.
The second half looked to see some more openings for Manchester with an early attempt from Shola Shoretire after being played into the box by Iqbal. But the Leeds keeper was there to deny again with a world-class save.
Hannibal Mejbri couldn’t handle the pressing from the Leeds midfield in the 60th minute, losing possession at the edge of United’s area and with one pass, Max Dean was through to side-foot into the back of the net.
Ten minutes later it was a calamity from Mastny as he looked to sweep up a long ball into the corner but his clearance went all wrong and landed straight to the feet of Archie Gray in the Leeds midfield.
The 15-year-old collected and struck from 35 yards, past the recovering Hardley who tried to cover the goalline.
🤯 "You beauty! Archie Gray take a bow!" pic.twitter.com/MOOdhg9VdU
— Leeds United (@LUFC) March 15, 2022
Unable to come back from such a deficit, United were left with nothing and are stuck in fifth place in the table. It is a quick turnaround though as United’s u23s will host Everton on Friday night.
United: Mastny , Wellens, Fernandez, Fish, Hardley, Svidersky (Emeran 61), Shoretire, Iqbal (Savage 61), Mellor , Mejbri, Garnacho (Hansen-Aaroen 75)
Unused subs: Vitek, Stanley