Manchester United’s u23s were in action on the big stage on Friday hosting Arsenal at Old Trafford.
The match kicked off with both sides exchanging fouls in dangerous areas but it was United’s free kick from Noam Emeran which would cause the most trouble as his strike from 30 yards out was destined for the top corner but for a fantastic save from the Arsenal keeper.
United were causing trouble shortly after as Charlie Savage played the ball out from the back for Alvaro Fernandez to drive through the middle and play a lovely through ball for D’Mani Mellor to latch onto. Mellor took the ball down the left side before cutting back onto his right and unleashing a powerful shot that the keeper could only parry into a dangerous area.
An Arsenal defender rushed the clearance with the ball falling to the waiting Charlie Wellens at the edge of the box who struck from 20 yards towards the bottom right corner but the keeper was alert as he made another fantastic save.
The Arsenal keeper was in for a busy afternoon as he was called into question again from Savage’s deflected long range effort which sent him sprawling back towards the goal line to keep out the looping ball.
Arsenal would hit on the counter in the 29th minute with the pace of Kido Taylor-Hart getting past Fernandez and the Arsenal winger’s low shot could only be palmed by Radek Vitek onto the foot of the prowling Mika Miles Biereth to tap into an open net.
The half time break would see the score still 0-1 despite United looking the better side throughout the first half.
Neil Wood’s half time talk worked a treat though as it only took two minutes for United to find the equaliser.
Shola Shoretire picked up the ball in the centre circle and played a defence splitting pass for Emeran coming in from the right who took the ball perfectly in stride and slid the ball through the keeper’s legs.
The roles were reversed minutes later when Emeran dribbled down the right and slipped a square pass into Shoretire at the front post for the midfielder to take a snap shot but Ovie Ejeheri was on hand to make another great save.
A wonderful chance opened up late on for Mellor to grab a deserved winner after Emeran’s deflected shot bounced through to him lurking in behind the backline but the forward couldn’t sort his feet to connect with the ball as it whizzed past and out for a corner.
Arsenal launched one last attack to grab a late winner through the Canadian born Mexican, Marcelo Flores, who danced in from the left before striking low but Vitek was down quick to hold onto the ball.
The final whistle came to mark a 1-1 draw leaving United in fourth place with one match left in the season.
United: Vitek, Wellens, Bennett, Fish, Fernandez, Svidersky (Hansen-Aaroen 71), Savage, Emeran (Mejia 87), Mejbri, Shoretire, Mellor
Unused subs: Wooster, Fredricson, Mainoo