Man United V Derby County 19/09/16
United: McTominay 17, 85 Harrop 67 (pen)
Derby: Vernam 35, 74
After a short hiatus where I’ve been held kidnapped in a basement by a Mexican man named Guillermo I am back with my coverage of Manchester United’s Reserve team.
During my absence United have ground out a 1-1 draw against local rivals Man City thanks to a goal by Matty Willock and beaten the reigning European champions Villarreal 1-0 in the Premier League International Cup. It’s good to see that whilst Guillermo fed me on a diet of stale bread and rain water the youngsters have started putting together some impressive performances. Harrop, Poole, Tuanzebe and McTominay have all started to show promise and are benefiting from regular games. Harrop in particular growing in statue with an assured performance against European opposition.
Last season’s Premier League 2 winners Derby, who have so far failed to register a single point this season provided the opposition under the lights of Old Trafford. The rare chance to play on the hallowed turf of Old Trafford often lifts the performance of young players and United were quickly in an attacking mood with Riley flashing a shot at the Derby goal in the 6th minute.
With Riley proving to be an attacking threat as he powered down the left wing and Harrop orchestrating and dictating, it didn’t take long for United to open their account for the night. The opener came in the 17th minute when some good play by Harrop resulted in a teasing cross being headed home with aplomb by Scott McTominay. McTominay is proving to be Mr Versatile having played in a defensive midfielder role but at 6ft 4 the lad offers us a real presence up front.
As the first half progressed it was all United and Derby rarely threatened although it was clear that their striker Vernam would be a threat in the air.
McTominay was unlucky not to double the lead in the 30th minute when he saw his sliding effort clip the outside of Derby’s post and go wide. Just 60 seconds later McTominay again was unfortunate when he failed to capitalise on a Hamilton pass, this time firing hire over the bar when he really should have done better. United were dominant!!!
Derby equalised against the run of play in the 35th minute Vernam nodded a header that just crossed the line before Redmond could clear. United disputed the decision but replays show the ball was well over the line. 1-1 at half time in a game United had dominated with possession and chances.
As the second half began slowly United found it increasingly hard to create opportunities and Derby could have stolen the lead when Vernam headed narrowly wide. Warren Joyce shuffled his tactics in the 58th minute when he introduced the tricky American Olosunde who replaced a tired looking Redmond.
A fit again Ro-Shaun Williams slotted into the defence alongside Tuanzebe when he replaced Scott in the 64th minute with Regan Poole moving to left back and Riley pushed forward. The changes freshened up the team and injected some much needed pace into the United team.
It soon paid dividends when sub Matthew Olosunde was clumsily tripped inside the Derby box in the 67th minute and up stepped an assured Harrop to drill home a well taken penalty (Demi Mitchell take note!!) 2-1
You have to credit the response from the Rams as they looked to get back into the match. They refused to give up and were rewarded for their fight and sustained period of attacking play in the 74th when that man Vernam flung himself onto the end of a brilliant cross by Santos to power home the equaliser. 2-2 What a game!!
15 minutes to go and it was all set up for a grandstand finish. United flooded forward in waves as they searched for a winning goal. With just 5 minutes left on the clock the reward came when a Riley cross fell to Olosunde who nudged it towards the waiting McTominay. With an instant swivel and turn McTominay smashed home a low drive past the despairing Derby keeper Navas. 3-2
O’Hara made two vital late saves to ensure the points were United’s in what turned out to be an exciting thrilling game. Its early days in the league but the result see’s United move into 8th with 8 points from 5 games.
Up next is a short trip to Liverpool on Monday 26th September where we face an inform table topping Everton team.
United Line Up:
O Hara, Riley, Tuanzebe, Poole, El Fitouri, McTominay Redmond*, Harrop, Willock, Scott*, Hamilton.
Subs: Olosunde for Redmond 58mins, Williams for Scott 64mins.
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Note: At no time has RedInBed actually been held kidnapped by a Mexican called Guillermo!!!!!