Manchester United’s u21s had the opportunity to shine under the big lights at Old Trafford last night as they played hosts to AS Monaco in the Premier League International Cup.
In the opening minutes Kobbie Mainoo slipped the ball through to Charlie McNeill in the box but he pulled his shot wide left.
Monaco went up the other way and their right winger had Bjorn Hardley twisting and turning before forcing a save from Ondrej Mastny.
In the 15th minute, some clever feet from Isak Hansen-Aaroen at the edge of box worked open the space to shoot from 18 yards which was tipped over the bar.
Marc Jurado crossed into the box and McNeill controlled down for Hansen-Aaroen to strike into the stands.
Shortly after, Mainoo won possession high up the pitch before McNeill crossed to Noam Emeran at the back post but the French winger couldn’t keep the header down.
In the 31st minute Monaco looked liked they’d created an opening but the recovering Hardley was quick over to make an important last ditch clearance.
Seconds later, a heavy collision in the midfield left Hansen-Aaroen down for several minutes but fortunately he got to his feet and was able to continue.
Charlie Savage and Rhys Bennett were caught in possession, giving a big chance to Monaco from 10 yards but Mastny stood tall to make the save.
A late chance came for Monaco in the dying stages of the first half as Jurado was beaten at the byline but Bennett got across to block the shot out for a corner.
The second half saw United get a big chance on the counter as McNeill played to Emeran on the left, who then switched to Omari Forson for an open shot but was denied by a big save from the Monaco keeper.
Immediately after, Monaco responded with an offside goal after a blocked shot fell into the path of their forward but the offside flag was up right away.
In the 65th minute, it was brilliant play from Mainoo on the right side to work it into box and lay off to Savage who when for placement and floated the ball onto the top of the netting.
Three minutes later, Monaco raced down the right and centred for an open chance in the box for their number seven to easily slot into the net and take lead in the 68th minute.
United almost responded quickly when Willy Kambwala’s long ball into right channel luckily fell to Hansen-Aaroen after the Monaco went down with a muscle pull allowing the Norwegian a free run in. He played the ball back to Forson who inadvertently mishit his shot straight to McNeill at the back post to also scuff his effort wide.
In the 75th minute, the Monaco keeper went to kick from his hands and McNeill cheekily knocked the ball away and put into the net but the ref was quick to call it back before Monaco’s Ritchy Valme shoved McNeill in the face to the floor. This was an offence deemed to be only a yellow card by the ref.
The match was truly put to bed in the final seconds as Diedry Kouassi cut in from left and curled an injury time goal in off the right post to give Monaco a 0-2 victory and continue the poor string of results for United’s u21s.
United: Mastny, Jurado, Bennett, Mengi, Hardley, Savage, Mainoo, Forson (Oyedele 87), Hansen-Aaroen, Emeran (Kambwala 66), McNeill (Huddlestone 76)
Unused subs: Wooster, Murray, Fredricson
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