Manchester United U21s drew 2-2 with Sunderland this evening in the Barclay’s Under-21 Premier League.
Warren Joyce welcomed the return of many players that were included in the first-team traveling to Galatasaray SC last week meaning many changes from the youthful U21’s side that were beaten 1-0 at home to Aston Villa last Monday.
Macheda and Bébé were included in the starting line up to face Sunderland, both players are looking for an outlet from the club when the transfer window opens again in January, which goes someway to explaining why there were scouts from various clubs present at Moss Lane.
Davide Petrucci was a late withdrawal from the starting eleven as he personally didn’t feel fit enough during the warm up, this paved the way for Lawrence to step in and left only four substitutes on the bench.
Manchester United found themselves 1-0 down after the ninth-minute with a goal from Sunderland’s Craig Lynch. A lucky bounce found the feet of Lynch and he moved forward into acres of space before hitting a fantastic strike into the right hand corner of Sam Johnstone’s goal.
United started to get into the game after the half-hour mark with Bébé hitting the side netting before Ryan Tunnicliffe hit the frame of the goal with a fantastic effort from outside the box.
As half-time approached Sunderland were getting plenty of men behind the ball to defend as United pushed on for an equalizer but it failed to come.
Going into the second half at Moss Lane neither side had made a change at the break, Bébé started the second period as he did the first-half, poor! – Racing down the right at every opportunity, miss placed passes and predictable cut backs failing time and again when trying to create space.
On the hour mark, Marnik Vermijl picked up the ball on the left hand side, and after some great close control through five Sunderland players, hit a wonder-strike from 25-yards to make it 1-1.
Henriquez replaced Lawrence then there was another goal for both sides in the next two-minutes.
First Sunderland went ahead after Adam Reed headed towards goal which was slightly fumbled by Johnstone. His mistake left it easy for Reed to slot home on the rebound. Just 33 seconds later Ryan Tunnicliffe equalized for Manchester United with a fantastic driving effort into the bottom corner bringing an end to a frantic few minutes at Moss Lane.
Going into the last 10-minutes Sunderland piled on a bit of pressure in front of United’s area, that almost paid off when Federico Macheda (Yes he was playing!) sliced the ball on a clearance, nearly scoring an own goal.
Both teams tried to take the game to each other in the final minutes but to no avail, final whistle went on a cold and wet evening at Moss Lane with both teams sharing the points.
Ryan Tunnicliffe was Manchester United’s stand out player on the night.
Next up for the Under-21s is Southampton away next Monday evening at St Mary’s. Southampton football club have decided to make this fixture free for all home and away supporters with a 7pm kick off.
Manchester United squad:
Lawrence (61′ Henriquez)
Subs not used: Sutherland, James, McCullough
Manchester United vs Sunderland U21s Team Sheet