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U21 Premier League: Manchester United vs Spurs (1-1)

A United team featuring Falcao, Wilson, Rafael and Valdes were the better side but had to settle for a draw against a hard-working Spurs team, who had been gifted the lead against the run of play before Rafael, who will have sent a clear message to Van Gaal about his claims to that right back slot in the first team, equalised for the Reds.

United looked the likelier side to score from the first whistle but it wasn’t until the fifteenth minute that they created a clear-cut chance.  A quick ball from Rafael put Falcao in and, when he was dispossessed, Goss followed up with a shot that went just wide.

The last thing the United fans will have wanted to see after the horrors of Monday night was another rash back pass leading to a goal, but that was exactly what happened.  A pass across his own box by Rothwell allowed McEvoy to sneak in and give the visitors an unlikely lead.  Shortly afterwards, it might have got even worse when a mix-up in the United defence let in Coulthirst, whose shot thankfully floated just wide of Valdes’ far post.

The Reds were soon back on level terms, however, thanks to a piece of opportunist brilliance from Rafael.   The Brazilian intercepted a throw from Spurs keeper McGee and lobbed the ball back over him as he scrambled back towards his line to put United back on level terms.

Although United again looked the livelier side after the break, there was an early scare when Carter-Vickers headed against the bar from close range.  At the other end, on the hour mark, more brilliant play from Rafael on the right set up Goss, but the midfielder’s shot was poor and allowed the Spurs defence to scramble it to safety.   Soon after, with United moving up another gear, McGee was forced to save at his near post from a James Wilson header.

When substitute Kellett set up Harrop, only for his shot to be blocked, it was clear that United, despite being in the ascendancy for most of this generally entertaining game, would have to settle for a draw which, given the balance of play and the tight scrap that is the race for the Under-21 Premier League this season, has to go down as a disappointing two points dropped.

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