A strong United side emulated the senior team’s scoreline on Sunday, overpowering Sunderland at Old Trafford with an impressive first half display and a hat-trick from Adnan Januzaj.
United fielded a strong side, with Januzaj joined by first team squad colleagues Luke Shaw and Anderson. Shaw played the first half and, with little defending to do due to the Reds’ dominance, gave the right side of the Sunderland defence a torrid time, while Anderson, not for the first time when fielded at this level, cut an impressive figure in midfield before also being substituted in the second half.
Januzaj opened the scoring after nineteenth minutes, exchanging passes with Will Keane before finishing neatly with his left foot. His compatriot Pereira doubled the score soon afterwards, firing home from Shaw’s intelligent cross into the box, while Keane and Shaw were both involved again in the move that led to Januzaj’s second.
At that stage, United looked capable of racking up a cricket score. Not only did the senior players impress, but Janko caused problems with his trademark powerful runs down the right and Tom Thorpe excelled in the ‘Blind’ role. This was emphasised at half-time when the Reds’ substitution of Shaw entailed Thorpe dropping back into a more familiar central defensive role. United immediately looked more cluttered in midfield and this led to Sunderland having more possession.
They may well have got onto the scoresheet were it not for a smart save from Amos just before half-time, some wayward finishing and occasionally vital last-ditch defending from United, with McNair a particularly decisive presence in the back line. As it was, it was United who eventually added to their tally late in the game when he finished from close range after a strong overlapping run from Vermijl. It provided a fittingly emphatic end to a good evening’s work for the young Reds.