Premier Under 21 League
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-3 Manchester United
James Wilson gave a masterclass of forward play to take United to a comfortable victory at Molineux. His second half hat trick was only part of the story: throughout the game he constantly troubled the home defence, giving them no time on the ball and producing an intelligence of movement they’ll rarely encounter from a player at this level.
It wasn’t only about Wilson. Among many other fine performers in this team of late, Rothwell and Pearson are becoming an impressive midfield partnership and they applied a stranglehold very early on this game. Despite that, the Reds were able to create only sporadic first half chances, all of which went begging. Pereira should have opened the scoring in the twelfth minute, when excellent play from Pearson set him up in the area, but the Belgian’s shot drifted feebly wide. Pereira demonstrated his enormous potential later in the half when he created a chance for himself, leaving five Wolves players floundering before pushing a deft shot just wide. It was a revealing statistic, however, that the first shot on target in the game came just before half-time, when the energetic Janko beat his marker before finding Wilson with an excellent ball from the right, only for the prolific forward’s shot to be saved by Flatt in the home team’s goal.
Wilson made amends almost as soon as the second half was underway. Dropping deep, he picked up the ball in midfield and, with very little backlift, fired a superb shot past Flatt from twenty yards to give United a deserved lead.
Wolves spent a little more time in the United half after that and Ben Amos needed to make a couple of fairly routine saves. United continued to control the game, though, and it was no surprise when they grabbed a second and no surprise that it came again from Wilson, slotting home with his right foot after being fed by Pearson.
It seemed almost inevitable Wilson would round off his performance with a third and it wasn’t long in coming, a cutback from Janko leaving him to pick his spot, which he did, hitting the ball high into the top corner and well beyond the flailing Flatt.
There had been little doubt that the first goal would open the doors to more for United on another impressive night for the Under-21s, whose recent run of form continues to see them challenge for what once appeared an unlikely place in the knockout stages.
GIF Credit: @KidASeven