After a tepid 0-0 draw against West Ham on Friday, the u21s took all 3 points at Moss Lane in tonight’s reverse fixture in a game that was vastly more entertaining.
Nick Powell scored after just 4 minutes
After just 4 minutes Manchester United were in front when Marnick Vermijl got the ball on the right-hand side, cut in and shot. His effort could only be half-cleared by keeper Spiegel, and Nick Powell had the easy task of tucking the rebound home from 5 yards out. Spiegel should have done better with Vermijl’s shot and take the blame in that situation.
West Ham created a good chance just 2 minutes later when Jordan Spence was allowed a free header at the far post following a set-piece, but he couldn’t keep his header down.
Moncur almost equalized on 12 minutes when the midfielder took the ball past the United defence after a great run, but a last-ditch challenge from Charni Ekangamene put an end to any danger.
United continued to threaten and could have added a second on 20 minutes. Fred Veseli collected the ball from Powell and United suddenly found themselves 2 against 1. Veseli could have gone for glory himself but tried to set up Larnell Cole instead. Cole’s shot from a tight angle was blocked and the rebound almost fell to Powell but Jordan Spence cleared at the last second.
With 25 minutes gone United deserved their lead and were enjoying a strong spell with good passing and plenty of possesion and in the event the ball was lost, it was won back quickly
West Ham however remained a threat and defender Potts had a decent opportunity with a rocket from 30 yards but Lindegaard watched it fly over the bar. At the other end Powell had a good chance when Januzaj set Lingard free down the left, but Powell took too long to control the ball from Lingard, and the Hammers could clear.
Nick Powell had been fairly quiet after his goal but with 9 minutes left of the first half, he almost scored a second. He played a nice one-two with Lingard and when everyone expected a pass he shot from 20 yards towards the near post. Spiegel didn’t react quick enough and was lucky to see the ball just miss the target. Powell got another chance in injury-time when he ran clear on a Tom Thorpe pass but the ball’s bounce made it almost impossible for Powell to controll it and Spiegel was never troubled.
Paul McCallum was the first player to be booked when he jumped into Tyler Blackett 3 minutes into the second half and whilst United were down to 10 men with Blackett getting medical attention on the sidelines, United created a decent chance. Vermijl picked up the ball on the right but opted to shoot from a very tight angle instead of putting in a low cross and the ball flew over Spiegel’s goal.
West Ham with a good shout for a penalty
West Ham had a decent shout for a penalty when one of their players went down in the box from a McGinty tackle, but the referee waved play on. Not too long afterwards Powell looked like he would connect to a very poor backpass from Spence, but Spiegel did really well to get to the ball first.
On 62 minutes Lingard had a very good chance to get United’s second. Powell flicked Cole’s chipped ball through to Lingard, but rather than trying to take Shaw on, he tried a rather unconvincing effort from 10 yards out that rolled wide of the post. During the next 15 minutes, United controlled the ball but failed to create any chances. West Ham were incredibly poor and after 75 minutes still hadn’t managed a single attempt on goal.
United made their first substitution on 84 minutes when Tom Lawrence came on for Adnan Januzaj. A decent game from Januzaj but nowhere near his best.
Dan Potts had another long-range effort with 3 minutes left to play. Once again the ball flew over the crossbar yet again and Hammers still hadn’t registered a single shot on goal.
Nick Powell with his second goal of the game
But immediately after, Nick Powell finished the game off. After a long clearance from Lingard inside his own half, a Hammers-defender tried to head the ball back to his keeper. Powell chased the ball and won the challenge with the on rushing Spiegel, and from a tight angle he hammered the ball into the empty net, especially impressive as he was off balance.
And after 91 minutes and 40 seconds, West Ham finally got a shot on target when substitute McGuire forced Lindegaard to save from close range. He couldn’t quite connect properly, and it was an easy save for the dane.
Manchester United – West Ham 2-0 (1-0)
1-0 Nicky Powell 4 (Vermijl)
2-0 Nicky Powell 89 (Lingard)
Manchester United: Anders Lindegaard – Tyler Blackett, Sean McGinty, Tom Thorpe, Marnick Vermijl – Charni Ekangamene, Frederic Veseli – Larnell Cole, Nicky Powell, Jesse Lingard (James 90) – Adnan Januzaj (Lawrence 85)
Bench: Jon Sutherland, Reece James, Tom Lawrence, Gyliano van Velzen, Mats Daehli
West Ham: Raphael Spiegel – Jordan Spence, Callum Driver, Dan Potts, Frazer Shaw – Amos Nasha, George Moncur – Wellington Paulista, Blair Turgott, Elliott Lee – Paul McCallum