U21 Match Report: Leicester City 0-1 Manchester United

Premier Under-21 League
Leicester City 0 Manchester United 1

Having watched United lose at Under-18, Under-21 and senior level last week, any win was to be welcomed and, although this was a narrow victory over less than inspiring opposition, the performance the young Reds gave, particularly in the first half, was worthy of at least muted celebration, with the individual contribution of Davide Petrucci a significant highlight.

With a number of players going out on loan, Warren Joyce’s side looked very different from the one beaten by city last week and held to a draw by Middlesbrough a week earlier. The performance was different too, with a number of players seizing the opportunity to sign and the side playing with a level of fluency all too absent of late. United dominated the first half and created frequent opportunities in front of the Leicester goal. Both full backs were causing trouble to the home defence with overlapping runs: cross from James fizzed across the area but James Wilson narrowly failed to get a touch at the near post, then, from the right, Janko’s cut back found Lingard who saw his effort saved by Logan. Soon after a clever chip from Davide Petrucci narrowly failed to put Lingard through on goal.

It was only a matter of time before United took the lead. In the 33rd minute Wilson gave notice of intent when he powerfully ran at the defence and shot just wide. The breakthrough came only two minutes later and followed an elementary mistake from the Leicester keeper, who carelessly handled the ball outside the box to give United a free kick. Petrucci, who was having a fine all-round game in midfield, stepped up and placed an effortless shot into the roof of the net.

The second half was a far less entertaining affair, with United being given less room to operate and Leicester, despite having an improved share of possession, managed to threaten Amos’ goal seriously on only one occasion, a threat that the United keeper was equal to. Petrucci continued to provide many of the best moments, including another clever chip, this time giving Wilson just a little too much to do as he lifted his shot over the bar; the Italian then cleared the bar himself with an audacious shot from over thirty yards out. Finding space on the left, he set up Wilson again later in the half, but the striker’s on-target shot struck a defender.

It would have been good to see United go on to convert a few of these chances and secure a scoreline their dominance deserved. But this was three points soundly earned by a United side playing, for the most part, some decent football and that’ll do for now.

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