Manchester United U-23 U-23 in name only. Luca Ercolani was the only player to have played against Leicester at the age of 20 and three of his 17-year-old team-mates still play in a higher age group.
She appeared on the bench, 16-year-old Shula Schorer, who was introduced in the second half. Sam Hughes, 23, takes over at Leicester, and his inaugural goalscorer will complete Desire 21 in January.
United’s rise to the Premier League in the Premier League 2 guarantees more stringent tests against the best academies as their boys turn into men, but there is also a real risk of them being sent back down. The club received the relegation of the Under-23 team two years ago poorly, and in the 2018 pre-season tour by Jose Mourinho, who made no secret of his refusal to name defeated players in his team.
Seasoned experts deemed last week’s second League Cup win over Salford’s 6-0 European League Cup as a false dawn and the opening match of the league ended with an expected defeat. The Junior Years League and last season, United’s second series was a passionate group with a strong core, support from the talent that knocked on the door of the first team and an impressive group of under-18s who had not achieved in the 2018-19 Youth Football Cup. The current crop is very rough.
At least Schuriter didn’t look out of his spare bow. In particular, United’s youth coaching staff questioned there were some under-23 seniors and Schuriter’s quick promotion wasn’t a surprise. He was close to achieving the consolation goal in overtime.
Already handicapped by injury Ethan Laird and Dylan Levitt on loan to Charlton, United were also denied Teden Mingy in midfield, perhaps another indication that he will soon be named to the first team on a full-time basis. United Under-23 coach Neil Wood has watched his assistant Quinton Fortune leave for Reading, and the depleted-playing division must already be stormed again.
The absence of Mingy DeSchon replaced Bernard, who started in the academy-laden Europa League match in Astana last November, and the Londoner was the only player with the physical capabilities of his strong opponent. Bernard attracted the interest of the Football League clubs considering late loans before the window closed on October 5.
Ondrej Mastney was a more accomplished presence amongst the sticks than Jacob Carney dropping him, and a pity that he ceded to Reghba, in which he played a deviation from James Garner from Bernard’s playoffs.
United had at least the relative seniority of Ethan Galbraith and Garner in midfield, although there was confusion at United over why Garner stopped moving the championship loan. Garner cut a frustrating figure again and could have settled into a championship team two weeks ago, after speaking with Huddersfield coach Carlos Corbran.
Garner and Galbraith, 45 minutes into the second leg with the first team at Villa Park on Saturday, were sometimes overwhelmed with Hannibal Megabri’s break-up as Leicester scored twice in the first half and Hughes missed two goals. Wonderful heads at both ends before the strike of desire.
It was credible that United went to the level of the first half but ironically they should have progressed. Anthony Elanga, the only specialized striker in the top three, stopped his shot and blocked a rebound on the line.
A thriving Leicester commentator in Qantara repeatedly referred to Elanga as “Elgani” and was loud enough to hear what winged Swede was attacking. The United Under-18s dealt without Ilanga last season in the Youth Football Cup, but they are already counting on his industry and without a suitable striker to ease the workload of the 18-year-old. Ilanga had four attempts on goal.
Hannibal Megabri barely plays a match without a confrontation and is pushed hard by Mitchell Clark on the ground, four years older than him, and he had to be kept out of facing the assistant referee for not advising him to referee to flourish in red. Rudely to Munji, Clark committed the rage in second-place Leicester.
united: Mastney, Ercolani, Bernard, Fish, Svidersky, Galbraith, Garner, Mjbry, Ilanga, Stanley (Schuriter), Helm
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