Premier League 2 Division One
Manchester United vs. Leicester City
Venue: Leigh Sports Village
Date: Monday, 15 August 2016
Kick-off: 19:00 BST
Manchester United began their quest to win a third consecutive title at reserve level with a late 1-0 victory against Leicester City.
The only game of the game came courtesy of Demetri Mitchell’s 87th minute winner, having arrived as a substitute less than 20 minutes prior to his heroics.
Played at Leigh Sports Village, the new under-23 format as it now is saw a healthy crowd turn up in the opening fixture of the campaign.
The visitors shaded the first half, with Gokhan Inler and Matty James seeing shots fall just over the bar from distance, as Sam Johnstone denied Admiral Muskwe at his near post.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson saw a shot held with ease, as Bartosz Kapustka’s attempt was parried with Muskwe’s rebound deflecting over off of Regan Poole at the other end.
Former United player Tom Lawrence curled a shot just over the crossbar as Ritchie De Laet headed wide from a corner as half-time arrived with the game goalless.
After the break, Matty Willock saw a shot held as Johnstone did well to palm away Liam Moore’s close range attempt, before turning the ball behind from his own man, as Regan Poole’s interception nearly forced an own goal.
The experienced Inler volleyed over as Kairo Mitchell saw consecutive attempts saved by the busy Johnstone.
Captain James Weir did well to win a free-kick in a dangerous position, but Josh Harrop’s dead ball was comfortably held by Daniel Iversen.
The goalkeeper Iversen was then caught off-guard as fellow keeper Johnstone’s route one kick allowed Mitchell to chase the loose ball, and his left-footed volley looped over the Dane who was standing off his line, as he could only watch United snatch the victory at the death.
Arguably second best for large spells despite some decent defending, Warren Joyce’s side showed why they’re reigning champions.
Winning whilst not playing well and a never give in attitude sees them open their title defence with a win.
Up next is a trip to St. Mary’s where they will take on Southampton in a 7pm kick-off.
Manchester United: Johnstone; Riley, Poole, Tuanzebe, Borthwick-Jackson; Willock, Redmond; Olosunde (Mitchell 68), Harrop. Kehinde; Weir.
Subs not used: Scott, Henderson, Whelan, Tanner.
Manager: Warren Joyce
Leicester: Iversen; De Laet, E. Moore, L. Moore, Wood; Kapustka, Inler, James, Lawrence; Mitchell, Muskwe (Ndukwu 64).
Subs not used: Johnson, Bramley, Miles, Barnes.
Manager: Steve Beaglehole