Home » Academy Match report: Manchester United u21s 2-1 Blackburn Rovers u21s

Academy Match report: Manchester United u21s 2-1 Blackburn Rovers u21s

by Colm Murphy

Manchester United u21s hosted Blackburn Rovers on Friday night at Leigh Sports Village.

United took control from the off and the first chance came from Marc Jurado playing the ball down the channel to Joe Hugill, who cleverly backheeled to Omari Forson for a left footed shot that was blocked out for a corner.

The Blackburn keeper was tested for the first time by Dan Gore with a quick snap shot from the edge of the box with his weaker left foot that the keeper did well to hold onto.

A giveaway at the back from Nathan Bishop handed Blackburn their first opening with a long range driven shot that almost caught Bishop off-guard, but the United keeper managed to recover and catch with his finger tips.

Some good passing play opened a chance for Isak Hansen-Aaroen to dribble through into the box but the Norwegian looked for the perfect opening and ultimately ran into a defender to kill the attack.

In the 23rd minute, United were building pressure and Hansen-Aaroen cut in from left and struck towards bottom left corner forcing the keeper to tip away.

Just a minute later a bizarre goal would give United the lead. A lofted ball from Zidane Iqbal into the box was flicked home by a soaring Forson in the air past the out coming keeper to trickle just over the line before the clearance could be made.

Approaching the half hour mark, Hansen-Aaroen came close with a double chance down the left. Slipped inside by Noam Emeran, the midfielder’s touch brought the ball up to strike on the volley that the keeper saved back into his path for a second attempt but again he couldn’t beat the keeper.

United put the ball in the net a second time in the 39th after a goal line scramble with attempts from Jurado and Emeran coming within inches of scoring before Jurado eventually smashed it into the net. But the referee ruled it out for a pull on the defender from Hugill.

United would eventually get their second just before the break, though. Gore intricately played the ball down the left to Emeran who chopped back inside, leaving the defender on the ground to open the space for the Frenchman to slot low past the keeper before running off to copy Marcus Rashford‘s new infamous celebration.

Five minutes into the second half, Gore spread the ball out to Jurado, who whipped in a low cross that was almost put in by a Blackburn defender but ultimately went just over the bar.

United continued their dominance in the second half but after failing to capitalise on it, Blackburn pulled one back against the run of play. A string of crosses into the box from the right and left were not cleared by United and after the third cross in a row it was turned home centrally by Ben Fyles.

There was almost an immediate response from Hugill with two chances in quick succession. The first came from a wide angle and for the second Forson squared the ball into the box and Hugill unusually fluffed his lines and completely mis-kicked the ball.

Late on, Hugill held up the ball and laid off to Forson to strike from 18 yards only to be denied by the crossbar from a spectacular goal as it skimmed off the woodwork and over.

Forson would come close once more before the final whistle, when he volleyed Sam Murray’s cross from 12 yards out, but it was stopped by a marvellous save from the Blackburn keeper.

The final whistle would come to give United the 2-1 victory and their fourth win in a row in the league.

United: Bishop, Jurado, Aljofree, Hardley, Murray, Iqbal, Gore, Forson, Hansen-Aaroen (Collyer 82), Emeran (Mejia 82), Hugill

Unused subs: Mee, Jackson, Huddlestone

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