Today sees the next round of the FA Youth Cup take place between Swansea City and Manchester United at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.
Both teams have looked impressive during their respective cup runs so far this season with United beating Torquay United easily then producing a much tougher, ultimately more satisfactory performance and victory over the mighty sleeping giant that is Derby County. In their two previous ties Swansea has eliminated two teams that United have been beaten by in all three attempts in the league this season.
Firstly, apologies for the lack of articles posted this week, it appears you boys have found somewhere else to get your fix of talking about United. Hopefully things will return to normal from tomorrow starting with Eddie’s preview as usual, the relocating Daniele returning with his broadband and his report, and ‘AWOL Eddy’ fixing his technical issues to give us the low-down on what worked or what didn’t work at The Emirates.
I’ve also enlisted two new writers who will hopefully begin publishing from Monday. So again, sorry for the lack of content, hopefully we’ll get this place buzzing again real soon.
As for the game today, very little can be said. WBA edged the first half, United Edged the second, but neither could find that extra touch of quality to take the points.
After Wednesday night’s magnificent win and performance it’s back to the bread & butter of the Academy League as United make the trip to West Bromich Albion to face a team they beat 2-1 back in November at Carrington.
West Brom also come into this game off the back of a win in the 4th round of the FA Youth Cup, they travelled to The Madjeski Stadium and beat Reading 2-1 with two goals from Alex Jones securing the victory.
Renowned for never doing things the easy way, Manchester United’s U18′s had to produce a performance of quality and strength to overcome a Derby County side boasting England U17 internationals, in-form strikers and a notable physical advantage not to mention the early initiative with an opening goal on 20 minutes.
A Jack Barby double of Phil Taylor-esque precision saw United overcome the deficit and advance to the next round where they now face Swansea City at The Liberty Stadium.
I’ll keep this short and sweet. Tomorrow night might see the 4th round tie of the FA Youth Cup take place between Manchester United and Derby County…..then again…..if it doesn’t warm up considerably during the day tomorrow, the pitch at Moss Lane (that’s no doubt been frozen for the best part of 6 days) will have no chance of defrosting….therefore right now I’d give the game a less than 50/50 chance of getting the go-ahead.
With Christmas now a distant memory, United travel to Stoke City’s Clayton Wood training facility/Academy for their second Academy League fixture of 2012 hoping to distance the memory of a poor last performance.
Last weekend saw United held to 3-3 draw in an exciting but error packed game against bottom of the league Bolton Wanderers at Carrington.
I’m sure the manager will be expecting to see certain improvements and proof that his team can learn from their mistakes before the somewhat more important FA youth cup tie against Derby County at Moss Lane on Wednesday night.
United’s under 18s fell behind three times but each time pegged their opponents back to earn a point and a few lessons against Bolton’s under 18′s at Carrington this morning.
In steadily worsening conditions throughout the 90 minutes, United failed to get into their stride and dominate possession like they had been doing in the closing weeks of 2011. Similar goals from Rudge and Hendrie sandwiched a typically United goal for Sam Byrne, but the story of the game lies in the errors that continue to plague this seemingly immature, ignorant defence who appear unwilling to learn from their own mistakes.
Tomorrow sees the return of the Premier Academy League as United take on Bolton at Carrington in an 11am kickoff.
These sides met in early November in what proved to be a enjoyable game between two teams so far struggling for consistency this season. The match ended in a 2-1 win for United with goals either side of halftime from Ekangamene and Barmby, the former blasting a wonderful low strike from 30+ yards and the latter a smart finish after an awful defensive lapse of concentration.
The score could and maybe should have been greater that day with good chances squandered throughout. The victory was marred by what turned out to be a nasty hip injury to Joe Rothwell, his return is expected sometime in February. The game was also an opportunity for the young, but quickly improving young reds, to keep a valuable clean sheet. It wasn’t to be thanks to a late break away goal that could easily have been dealt with.