Manchester United’s u21s travelled to Blackburn today for a PL2 fixture, kicking off shortly after the u18s who were also in action against Blackburn Rovers.
It was Blackburn who would threaten first as they raced down the left and fizzed a threatening ball across the area which was cut back at the back post for Jack Vale to strike narrowly wide.
Three minutes later and Tyler Fredricson’s missed interception allowed Vale through on goal to slide past Ondrej Mastny but the forward’s effort couldn’t beat the post.
It was then United’s turn to attack as Dan Gore took the ball on the turn through two opposition players before deftly playing through Charlie McNeill, who sprinted in on the right side but was denied by the keeper with his near post attempt.
In the 25th minute, Vale would give Blackburn the lead after Sam Murray tripped up trying to make an interception, allowing Vale to run clear through on goal. He made no mistake this time as he placed the ball into the bottom left corner.
United almost pulled one back immediately when Charlie Savage’s through ball over the top caused an error from the onrushing keeper to give McNeill a huge chance with an open goal but the recovering defender stood tall to head McNeill’s shot away.
It was another keeper mistake just minutes later but this time from Mastny as he played the ball straight to Harry Leonard and the Blackburn striker quickly pounced to chip into the open net from 25 yards.
Blackburn’s third came five minutes later as Vale raced in behind again before unselfishly squaring to Leonard to roll into the net.
In the 36th minute, United would pull one back through Shola Shoretire after running onto a square pass from Isak Hansen-Aaroen to slot into the bottom right corner from 12 yards out.
But the hope was short lived as just two minutes later another calamitous mistake at the back saw Rhys Bennett gift the ball away for Vale to score his second.
Moments before the break and Blackburn made it five, their skipper Jared Harlock with a fantastic strike into the top right corner from the edge of the box.
United came out in the second half and looked to threaten with some speculative efforts from Omari Forson and Marc Jurado but it would be Blackburn who would find the net again.
Ethan Walker would make it six with an audacious bicycle kick after being left open six yards out.
Hansen-Aaroen came close to pulling one back late on as he took down Gore’s long ball over the top but couldn’t measure his deft chip correctly to beat the diving keeper.
Further chances would come for Gore and McNeill but ultimately neither of them could find the net as the match finished 6-1, coincidentally the same score in the u18s victory against Blackburn at the same time.
Manager Mark Dempsey was as expected not pleased with the result but did look for the positives in the second half, saying “Shola Shoretire was terrific.”
United: Mastny, Jurado, Fredricson, Bennett, Murray, Savage, Gore, Forson, Hansen-Aaroen, Shoretire, McNeill
Unused subs: Wooster, Kingdon, Collyer, Huddlestone
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