Premier League 2
Manchester United vs. Sunderland
Venue: Leigh Sports Village
Date: Monday, 21 November 2016
Kick-off: 19:00 GMT
Manchester United suffered a rare home defeat at Reserve level, losing 2-0 to Sunderland in the first fixture since Warren Joyce’s departure.
It was two first teamers who bagged the goals, albeit the first from Seb Larsson could well go down as an Axel Tuanzebe own goal after a wicked deflection.
Returning from injury, Jan Kirchhoff secured the visits the victory just after the hour mark, as a stuttering campaign goes on for United at this level after three-and-a-half weeks away.
Despite Josh Harrop bending over from distance early on, the Black Cats looked more productive, with Rees Greendwood’s shot blocked as Larsson fired over from the loose ball.
The visiting number nine Lynden Gooch struck an effort just wide of Kieran O’Hara’s right-hand post, before Mika denied Regan Poole’s left-footed attempt with a fine save.
As it looked like half-time would arrive with the game scoreless, a Sunderland attack eventually saw the ball fall to Larsson, whose shot deflected off the outstretched leg of Tuanzebe, wrong-footing O’Hara in the process.
Not long after Sean Goss’ free-kick struck the wall, Sunderland made it two, as Greenwood’s set pass allowed Kirchoff to produce a composed first time finish.
This led to a frantic spell, as Matty Willock’s shot from range dropped just over, before Gooch’s swerving strike was pushed behind by O’Hara.
Greenwood tried to catch O’Hara unawares with a first time effort from Larsson’s slipped pass that fell just wide, as the latter’s free-kick curled just over from a tight angle.
The experienced Swede then saw a flash shot held before Devonte Redmond sliced over from Scott McTominay’s smart knockdown.
Full-time arrived on a wet and windy evening at Leigh Sports Village, with a fair result reflecting the proceedings.
This was the first home defeat at this level since February 2015, as Nicky Butt’s first game in charge of the Reserves ends in defeat.
Up next is a trip to Reading next Monday, with a 7pm kick-off at Adams Park.
Manchester United Reserves: O’Hara; Poole, Williams, Tuaznebe, El Fitouri (Olosunde 78); Willock (Scott 78), Goss; McTominay, Kehinde (Mitchell 68), Harrop; Redmond.
Subs not used: Moutha-Sebtaoui, Doughty.
Manager: Nicky Butt
Sunderland Reserves: Mika; J. Robson (Casey 90+3), Brady, Ledger, T. Robson; Kirchoff, E. Robson; Larsson, Honeyman, Greenwood (Molyneux 89); Gooch (Maja 83).
Subs not used: Stryjek, Asoro.
Manager: Andy Welsh