By Rob Britton.
Manchester United’s Under-21s moved to second in the table after a well fought 2-1 victory over Newcastle United, at Whitley Park. The Magpies have been one of the most entertaining teams to watch so far this season, with 46 goals scored in nine matches they have been involved in.
Newcastle started the game on the front foot, with Xisco having an early opportunity to give the home team the lead, but Jonny Sutherland in United’s goal parried a tame effort to deny the Spanish forward.
On 34 minutes Xisco had another golden opportunity, but the £6million signing was unable to convert the simple chance. The Magpies continued to attack, but throughout the first half both sides were lacklustre in what was a dour first 45 minutes.
Tom Thorpe obviously listened to Warren Joyce’s words during half time. Within the opening skirmishes of the second half United were awarded a corner, which was taken by Adnan Januzaj. Thorpe climbed above Newcastle’s defenders to loop a powerful header over the keeper and into the net to score his first goal of the season and to give United a 1-0 lead, and hopefully the start for more goals to come.
Newcastle equalised 12 minutes later, when a controversial free kick was given against Tom Lawrence. A poor freekick from Marcus Maddison was spilled by Sutherland and the rebound was pounced on by Conor Newton who scored into an empty net. The United stopper will be disappointed by the error as the attempt on goal should have been a relatively easy save.
The Magpies continued to push for another goal, but United were equal to them, and on 65 minutes the visitors regained the lead. A corner from Januzaj fell to Michele Fornasier, who whipped a low cross for Lawrence to finish from close range. The goal was the young Welshman’s second in four substitute appearances for the U21s.
Attempts on goal were few and far between after United regained their advantage, as the game petered out in the final stages.
United have a 100% record against Newcastle this season, defeating them on six occasions at all levels. The Red Devils move on from a great result, albeit disappointing performance to face Aston Villa at Moss Lane on November 19, while Newcastle will be looking to return to winning ways following their third consecutive loss.
Latest Manchester United U21s statistics here.
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