By Bryan Waters.
Manchester Senior Cup – Manchester United vs Oldham Athletic. 7pm, Moss Lane, Altrincham.
Larnell Cole scored four as Manchester United’s Under 21s cruised through their Manchester Senior Cup tie with Oldham Athletic in a 7-0 demolition at Moss Lane.
Warren Joyce’s side dominated possession and started brightly with a shot from defender Marnick Vermijl going just wide of the post after a lovely team move. Young Belgian midfielder Adnan Januzaj, who replaced Nick Powell in the side from Saturday’s 3-1 win at Southampton, was excellent in the early going and dictated tempo for United whilst they struggled to get a foothold in the game.
Oldham posed little threat and were made to pay on the half hour mark. Cole got the first with a low strike that somehow found his way past Oldham goalkeeper Luke Simpson, who will disappointed with his effort. Ten minutes later, it was 2-0 for the young Red Devils. Jesse Lingard smashed the ball home from just outside the box to give Joyce’s side a commanding lead at half-time.
Tom Thorpe replaced Reece Brown for the second half, but hardly had anything to do as United’s attack took centre stage. Just eight minutes was all Cole needed to carry on his form from the first half and the 19 year old stroked the ball home past the despairing Simpson. The hat-trick goal came 10 minutes later after some lovely interchange play between Lingard and Frederic Veseli. The latter’s delivery found Cole, who couldn’t miss from six yards out.
The fifth came from the wonderful Januzaj with 20 minutes to go and his cool finish rounded off a great individual performance from the former Anderlecht youth player. Goal six came from defender Vermijl on 82 minutes and Cole grabbed his fourth, and United’s seven, with a back post finish two minutes later after great work from the excellent Veseli down the right. There was still time for Januzaj to rattle the bar with a stunning effort and the bar to rattle from an Oldham defender’s wayward boot, before dropping to substitute Gyliano van Velzen who should have scored.
Joyce introduced Ben Pearson in the second half, who is performing brilliantly for the U18s and will be the future of this United side, looking lively and bright during their cameos. It was far too easy for United in the end, as Oldham legs tired, and Joyce’s men have a short turnaround until their next fixture against Arsenal at Moss Lane on Monday night at 8pm. The victory secure a place in the Manchester Senior Cup final with a game to spare.
Man of the match: Larnell Cole. As good as Adnan Januzaj was, Cole’s four goals give him the edge. They were all taken astutely and the 19 year old will be ready to compete for a place in next season’s League Cup campaign based on this performance, even though it was a shocking Oldham defence.
United: Johnstone; Veseli, Fornasier, Brown (Thorpe 45), Vermijl; Cole, Enkagamene (Pearson 67), Tunnicliffe, Lingard; Januzaj, Cofie (Van Velzen 62). (Subs unused: Sutherland, Weir)
Oldham: Simpson, Jones, Cooper, Clarke, Mellor, Sutherland, Winchester, Murray, Hughes, Taylor, Millar. (Subs: Coleman, Gosset, Poxon, McIntosh, Edwards)
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