Manchester United U18s were in action on Saturday as they faced Aston Villa in the U18s PL Cup.
Coach Travis Binnion started with this XI: Wooster, Lawrence, Kingdon, Aljofree (c), Nolan, McAllister, Oyedele, Williams, Berry, Mather, Wheatley.
The game started brightly for Manchester United with both Wheatley and Berry trying to combine in an attempt to score the opening goal of the game. It was Wheatley who managed to beat the keeper, but Berry’s effort was blocked by a Villa defender on the line.
Oyedele then had an excellent chance to score from outside of the box, but the goalkeeper tipped it over the bar. It has to be mentioned that while United were dominating the game at this stage, there was no end product. United do not have a natural goal-scorer and this has been clear to see in the U18 games.
If you do not score, you will concede and this rule never fails. It was Nolan who lost the ball in an attempt to get hold of the Aston Villa winger. Wooster managed well to save the first shot, but the rebound was unreachable and just like that Villa went ahead.
A strange flow of the game given how things were going at the moment and this how the first half ended.
In the second half, it was Berry who set Wheatley nicely and United were again quite unfortunate not to level things.
In what followed, we saw the same as usual, United were trying but Villa were holding well into the game with Berry creating chances for United. In the end, there were was no one to make those chances count.
Same story with United as they conceded from a close range with Moore being left unmarked and nothing left to do for Wooster. Just minutes later, in what seemed a confusion between the defenders and the goalkeeper, Villa came close again.
Surely, a lot to learn from the first game in the PL Cup and probably team balance would be the next challenge for Binnion who must think of turning the season around and potentially get us scoring as we usually do in this academy level.