Spurs 3-0 United (PL2)
Report from Stevenage
Fri 25 August 2017, 21:01|Tottenham Hotspur
Three goals in 14 first-half minutes saw our Under-23s get off the mark in this season's Premier League 2 with an emphatic 3-0 win over Manchester United at Stevenage on Friday night (August 25).
Marcus Edwards produced a spectacular 20-yard curler to reward a bright start by the team on 11 minutes, before defender Japhet Tanganga went forward to nod home a corner and make it two in as many minutes.
Our midfield restricted United for much of the first period and allowed us to keep driving forward, with skipper Joe Pritchard slotting home number three with the game barely 25 minutes old.
United had spells in the ascendancy for the remainder of the game but in truth we always looked comfortable, although it needed a couple of important saves from Brandon Austin after the interval to keep his clean sheet intact.
Matthew Olosunde almost capped United's late pressure with an 89th-minute consolation, but his effort cannoned off the post.
Goal: Spurs 1-0 Manchester United - Marcus Edwards - 11mins
Our early play was bright and lively and we dominated the possession. After Pritchard's cut-back was hacked away by Ethan Hamilton, Edwards broke the deadlock in style with 11 minutes gone. Picking up the ball 20 yards out with three red shirts blockading his path to goal, he turned onto his left foot and curled beyond the diving Theo Richardson into the top corner.
Goal: Spurs 2-0 Manchester United - Japhet Tanganga - 12mins
We made it two goals in as many minutes as Pritchard delivered a corner into the box and Tanganga towered above his marker to connect with a downward header that beat Richardson low down.
Goal: Spurs 3-0 Manchester United - Joe Pritchard - 25mins
New England Under-18 call-up Oliver Skipp was once again so impressive in central midfield and linked up well with the returning Luke Amos and Pritchard to pull the strings. With that base, it came as no surprise to see us increase our lead on 25 minutes as right-back TJ Eyoma slipped Pritchard in down his side of the box and the midfielder slotted coolly past Richardson at his near post.
Above: The lads celebrate Joe Pritchard's goal.
Goal disallowed: Sterling caught out by off-side flag - 51mins
Shilow Tracey went close twice in the opening stages of the second period before closing down Tyrell Warren and releasing Kazaiah Sterling through on goal. The off-side flag went up against the striker, though, meaning it didn't count as he slotted past Richardson. Amos was just off-target with a header from Eyoma's cross moments later.
Saves: Austin kept busy - 61-77mins
United began to control the game and keeper Austin turned away Demetri Mitchell's free-kick low down at the back post just beyond the hour mark, before Axel Tuanzebe headed wide from a corner. Austin then made another fine stop to his left to keep out James Wilson's shot, then blocked Indy Boonen's back-post effort following a searching ball over from the right flank by Hamilton.
Woodwork: Olosunde close for United - 89mins
United went close late on when the lively Mitchell cut back on the right for Olosunde to strike one, but his curling effort struck the near post, bounced in the six-yard box and was cleared.
Coach Wayne Burnett said
“We’re really pleased to win. We’ve worked very hard and that’s what the game is about, winning football matches. The first half was a very good performance, some of our movement and our structure was very good and I’m really pleased with the first half display – we’ve scored three decent goals. I was pleased that we kept a clean sheet but we have to do some work on being better at playing out. The intent is there which I’m pleased about and we’re trying to be brave but we have to try to be better at getting out from the goalkeeper because they pressed us really high. We knew that would happen in the second half so when we know that’s going to happen we have to be a bit smarter with the ball. We’ve got some work to do, we will do that but the pleasing thing for me was that we still tried to play out and do the right things. We’ll go back to the training pitch and do some work for next week.
“We played really well at Sunderland for 60 minutes and we played really well against West Ham for 45 minutes. We have to make sure that we can be consistent with our performances and we have to come up with solutions to problems that face us. Tonight we played very well in the first half and then we had a problem in the second half with them pressing us. We have to find solutions to those problems.”
Spurs: Austin, Eyoma, Bennetts, Skipp, Brown, Tanganga, Edwards, Pritchard (c), Sterling (Loft 78), Amos (Duncan 63), Tracey (S Shashoua 77). Substitutes (not used): Marsh, O’Reilly (GK).
Manchester United: Richardson, Olosunde, Shaw, Warren, Tuanzebe, Hamilton, Boulii, McTominay (c), Wilson (Buffonge 78), Boonen, Mitchell. Substitutes (not used): Sang, Whelan, Scott, M Johnstone (GK).
Goals: Spurs - Edwards 11, Tanganga 12, Pritchard 25.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Pritchard 59, Amos 61, Skipp 83; Manchester United - Shaw 87.
Referee: Daniel Middleton.
Our Development Squad will be back at Stevenage next Thursday night (August 31) for the first of our three Group F matches in the Premier League International Cup. West Ham United, who beat us 3-2 in the Premier League 2 on Monday, are our opponents in the 7pm kick-off.