While Manchester United’s younger set of u19s are at the Rewe Junior Cup, the older set have also been in Germany at the Mercedes-Benz Junior Cup, where they have topped their group in the first round after three matches.
Vs. RB Leipzig
United’s first opponents were RB Leipzig, who looked extremely comfortable in the 6-a-side format with a confident keeper who spent more time at the half way line than in his goal.
The Leipzig keeper’s over confidence though almost gifted United a goal as the keeper attempted a roulette in his own box past two United players and lost the ball but was quick to pounce on it to recover.
The Leipzig keeper was upfield in the action again and tested Eric Hanbury with a long driven shot that the United keeper got down quick to hold onto.
A turnover high up the pitch allowed Ethan Wheatley to be found in the box by James Nolan but the Leipzig keeper jumped on the ball before Wheatley could sort out his feet.
With the ball tight in the left corner against the boards, Ethan Williams put the ball in the box and Leipzig couldn’t clear allowing Maxi Oyedele to smash into the roof of the net to give United the lead and what would prove to be the winner.
Next up was VFB Stuttgart and the match started with a lot more action as Wheatley struck the bottom of the left post in the first minute.
Some miscommunication from Williams and Nolan saw Williams tip the ball past Nolan into the United box for the Stuttgart player to latch onto and score.
Williams immediately made up for the mistake though and burst through two defenders and struck under the keeper to bring it back level.
A back heel from Oyedele would play Wheatley into space on the left of the box to finish low and give United the lead.
Shortly after, Williams would add his second as he cut inside onto his left and smashed low from close range.
In the second half, Stuttgart, looking for the comeback, elected to put an outfield player in goal and it paid off as they scored within 30 seconds. The makeshift keeper, a natural defender in Tom Barth, played the assist into the box for a flicked-on finish.
A minute later it almost worked again as Barth surged through four United players before laying it off for a shot that was well saved by Tom Wooster.
Barth was running the show in the second half with a low placed shot just inside United’s half that hit the post, then off Wooster’s back, and out.
It was all Stuttgart and after peppering the goal they scrambled to a loose ball in the box to pull it level.
But it only lasted for a few seconds as Wheatley turned the defender in the box and poked it in off the post.
Sam Mather ran down the wing and took a wide shot that was saved into path of Jack Moorhouse to put it into the roof of the net and double United’s lead.
Moorhouse then played provider running down the left and switching to Manni Norkett to finish past the makeshift keeper and end the match 6-3 to United.
The final match of the first round was up against Turkish side Galatasaray.
The Turkish side scored an early goal with a long ball to the striker that was brought down and struck past Eric Hanbury.
A dangerous ball into the box from Williams was almost turned into the Galatasaray goal by a defender just seconds later but for the keeper’s quick feet to block it out.
Galatasaray then added a second from a tight angle in the right corner, with a low driven strike past Hanbury after the keeper gave the ball away with his clearance.
Seconds later there was a third. Jack Kingdon muscled the forward off the ball to win possession but then passed it straight to an opposition player in the box to tap into the net.
In the second half, United went to the outfielder-in-goal method like Stuttgart had previously, with Sam Mather donning a training bib to mark himself as the keeper.
Oyedele pulled one goal back when sent the keeper down with a fake shot before pulling onto his left and dispatching into the open net.
But it wasn’t enough as Galatasaray added another when Wooster couldn’t clear after a back pass, allowing the Galatasaray striker to run in and steal the ball to finish and end the match 4-1 in Galatasaray’s favour.
Despite the loss, United still topped their group to put them as the number one seed going into the pre-finals later on Saturday which can be seen live here.