FA Youth Cup Report: Leicester City 0-1 Manchester United

FA Youth Cup

Leicester City 0 Manchester United 1 (aet)

For the second round running, the two Pereiras played a significant role in ensuring United’s progress in the Youth Cup.  Although unemployed for large parts of the game, keeper Joel produced saves as decisive moments while Andreas capped a largely erratic display with the goal in extra time that sent his side through.

The Swiss keeper was called into action in the seventeenth minute to save sharply from Bailey, before turning aside a Brandon Fox shot for a corner.   Leicester always looked vulnerable to United’s passing game, however, and the Reds began to create chances of their own: Harrop had the best of the half when he fended off three Leicester defenders and shot wide.  Immediately afterwards a shot from Andreas Pereira was palmed wide by Sharp, who was tested again just before half-time when Harrop’s speculative effort bounced awkwardly in front of him.  The Reds failed to produce any concerted pressure, however, and the teams went in at half-time with the scores level.

United came out in the second half with more purpose and dominated the game from that point on, albeit with no end product Andreas Pereira was seeing more of the ball, but too often he frustrated when in possession and wasted a good chance on the hour when he found himself free on the left and, with four red shirts to pick from, opted to go it alone, only to find no way through the home defence.

With both Wilson and Fletcher unavailable through injury, United struggled to provide a finishing touch to some of their neat second half play and the Reds were reminded of the dangers inherent in the scoreline when the impressive Bailey forced an intervention out of Joel Pereira and Fox almost converted the rebound, in what was Leicester’s only clear-cut chance of the half.  Rashford was replaced by Mitchell after eighty minutes and Pereira was pushed into a loan forward role.  The Belgian produced his best moment of the game with a free kick that was turned over by the keeper and the fresh legs of Mitchell almost carved a late chance for United, but his work on the right failed to land at the feet of a team mate.

It was Leicester who produced the first chance of extra time, Rowe’s shot forcing a fine save from Joel Pereira and Mitchell clearing off the line from the resulting corner.  When the keeper made a second decisive extra time save, United went up the other end and produced the decisively moment of the game.  After his more intricate moments had failed to pay dividends during the game, it was a scruffy deflected shot which looped over the own keeper that produced a goal.  Although the home team pressed for an equaliser, it was enough to send United into the fifth round.

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