Premier League 2
Manchester United v Derby County
Venue: Old Trafford
Date: Monday, 19 September 2016
Kick-off: 19:00 BST
Manchester United secured a thrilling 3-2 victory over Derby County at Reserve team level at Old Trafford on Monday evening.
Scott McTominay’s opener was cancelled out by Charles Vernam’s header, with Josh Harrop’s penalty restoring the lead after the interval.
Vernam equalised for a second time, but McTominay’s winner with less than six minutes remaining granted the hosts all three points.
Josh Harrop scuffed an effort wide from Sadiq El Fitouri’s low cross as Joe Riley cut inside and saw a shot held early on.
The opening goal came when Harrop whipped in a cross from the left-hand side of the area which McTominay met to head home.
Vernam headed onto the roof of the net from Kellan Gordon’s right-wing cross, as Riley and Harrop saw shots held at the other end.
Two chances in quick succession saw McTominay slide in and hit the post from Riley’s low cross, before firing over from Ethan Hamilton’s almost identical assist.
This left United ruing missing chances heading into the break, as Vernam’s header crossed the line after Emil Rils Jakobsen had kept the danger alive from a corner.
Left-back Kevin McDonald was afford too much space cross, but Lewis Walker glanced a header wide after the break.
United regained the lead after substitute Matthew Olosunde’s through ball played in Harrop, who was up-ended by Alex Cover, and Harrop expertly dispatched his spot-kick into the bottom left-hand corner.
It was Cover on the turn that saw a shot deflect wide before a second Vernam header drew the Rams level once more after Alefe Santos’ deep cross was met by the diving number 10.
A little bit of fortunate fell United’s way for the winner, as the ball dropped kindly to McTominay inside the area on the back of Riley’s cross and Olosunde’s blocked shot, but United’s number nine kept his shot low and sealed victory with less than five minutes remaining.
Derby didn’t look like a side without a point so far this season, but United’s character saw them over the line, determined to grind out a much-needed win in an entertaining game at Old Trafford.
Their only other league win was sealed late on against fellow East Midlands outfit Leicester City, with Warren Joyce’s side building on just two previous goals scored by netting three times tonight.
Up next is a testing trip away at Everton next Monday at 7pm, with the Reserves looking for their first win on the road in 2016/17.
Manchester United: O’Hara; El Fitouri, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley; Redmond (Olosunde 58); Scott (Williams 65), McTominay, Harrop, Hamilton; Willock.
Subs not used: Moutha-Sebtaoui, Doughty, Chong.
Manager: Warren Joyce
Derby: Ravas; Stabana, Wassall, Cover, MacDonald; Gordon, Guy, Hanson, Walker (Santos 67); Jakobsen (Dabos 86), Vernam.
Subs not used: Yates, Marsh, Skapetis.
Manager: Darren Wassall