Premier League 2
Manchester United vs. Arsenal
Venue: Leigh Sports Village
Date: Monday, 24 October 2016
Kick-off: 19:00 BST
Manchester United saw off Arsenal at Reserve team level, securing a narrow 1-0 victory at Leigh Sports Village.
It was RoShaun William’s early header that sealed the game, as United dominated for the majority of the contest.
Following on from last week’s comeback draw against an experienced Liverpool side, the youngsters can be pleased at their response to the Everton defeat a month ago.
With less than eight minutes on the clock, United made the most of a dead ball, with Josh Harrop’s corner flicking off the head of visiting player Savvas Mourgos, with the ball falling kindly for Williams to stoop lowest and head home at the back post.
It was nearly half-time before the next chance of any note, with Demetri Mitchell’s through ball playing in Matthew Olosunde, but he fired his attempt straight at Hugo Keto to save behind, when placing the shot either side would’ve certainly find the net.
The resulting corner eventually found its way back out to Harrop on the right, and he teed up Sadiq El Fitouri, who skewed an effort high and wide.
Chances increased after the break, with Harrop and Joe Riley seeing almost identical efforts held after mazy runs in-field before unleashing strikes at goal.
Harrop then slipped a pass into Devonte Redmond’s path, but his tame shot failed to trouble Hugo Keto, as Mitchell fluffed his lines from Riley’s squared ball.
Against his former club, Matty Willock’s low strike looking for the bottom corner was well held, before Keto was forced to parry away Riley’s attempt as he cut inside from Harrop’s feed.
With their first shot on target and first meaningful attack of the evening, Arsenal nearly levelled through Kaylen Hinds, but Sam Johnstone read the situation, ventured off his line, and denied the visiting number 10.
Riley’s neat flick on the edge of the area allowed Harrop to get his shot away, with Keto palming the initial strike high into the air before grasping the ball as it dropped back down to earth.
There was time for skipper Ismael Bennacer to fire over late on, but full-time arrived with the job done for Warren Joyce’s side.
In truth, the scoreline flattered Arsenal, who barely threatened as United hogged the bulk of the chances.
In that respect, it is a shame they failed to add to their tally, but three points, a clean sheet and a positive showing will please the coaching staff.
Hoping for a north London double, United head down to the capital to take on Tottenham Hotspur in the league on Friday lunchtime, with a 12:15pm kick-off time scheduled for the Reserves to build on two promising displays over the past 7 days.
Manchester United Reserves: Johnstone; Williams, Tuanzebe, Poole; Riley; Redmond; Olosunde, Willock (Scott 86), El Fitouri, Harrop; Mitchell (Kehinde 67).
Subs not used: O’Hara, Buffonge, Whelan.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Arsenal Reserves: Keto; Johnson, Da Graca, Pileas, Dasilva; McGuane, Bennacer; Mourgos (Eyoma 78), Hinds (Robinson 78), Dragomir; Nketiah.
Subs not used: Osei-Tutu, Virginia, Bola.
Manager: Steve Gatting