U21s Match Report: Manchester United 2-1 West Ham United

United’s youngsters lifted some of the gloom around Old Trafford by securing a deserved win at the stadium. Although the margin was slender, the Reds never looked in any danger of losing the lead they established at half day, following another brilliant strike from Andreas Pereira.

United played without a recognised striker due to James Wilson’s absence through illness. Despite this, they always looked the stronger side. Pearson and Rothwell are establishing a solid partnership in the centre of midfield and, ahead of them, Lingard, Petrucci and Pereira combined to produce some fluent attacking play at times, while Janko was a constantly energetic threat from the right.

Despite this, much of the game was scrappy and United had struggled to create a clear-cut attempt on goal before Michael Keane opened the scoring after 33 minutes: the central defender appeared in the box as United pushed forward in numbers, and struck sweetly to give United the lead. Although West Ham equalised through a similarly well-struck effort from Famino, United were back in front within a minute of the restart, Pereira coming in from the left to place his shot brilliantly beyond the flailing West Ham keeper.

United almost extended their lead before half-time when Rothwell’s shot hit the bar. However, the second half was largely uneventful, with the visitors’ infrequent attacks easily snuffed out by the United defence. United largely controlled the game, however, and this can go down as another successful outing for this young team, who’ve now recorded back to back wins following the victory at Leicester last week.

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