Under-23s back to winning ways against United
Spurs 3-0 Manchester United (Premier League 2)
Fri 19 March 2021, 14:18|Tottenham Hotspur
Our Under-23s returned to winning ways in the Premier League 2 on Friday afternoon with a commanding 3-0 victory over Manchester United.
Jamie Bowden got us underway as he rolled the ball home from the penalty spot on 27 minutes after Romaine Mundle was brought down in the box. Marcel Lavinier then lashed home his second goal in our colours to double our lead on 64 minutes.
Two red cards followed in the next 15 minutes as United were first reduced to 10 men on 67 minutes with Ethan Galbraith dismissed, before George Marsh saw red on 79 minutes. We remained on the front foot though and further increased our advantage with five minutes remaining as Kion Etete volleyed home to seal all three points.
We began to take a hold of the game with just over 15 minutes gone at Hotspur Way as we used our width through Mundle and Dilan Markanday to stretch the United defence. On 24 minutes, it was the good work of the wingers that led to Bowden having his first sight of goal, however, his strike was straight at goalkeeper Matej Kovar. Three minutes later though, the midfielder was afforded another opportunity to beat Kovar and this time, he took it.
Again, Mundle was integral in the build-up as he skipped into the box before being bundled over by right-back Mark Helm. The referee pointed to the spot and Bowden did the rest, waiting for the keeper to make his decision to dive to the right before rolling the ball home into the opposite corner from 12 yards.
We had just about edged the game at that stage, but we could have easily lost our lead just two minutes later as the visitors' Joe Hugill was slipped through on goal, yet goalkeeper Josh Oluwayemi was off his line in a flash to quickly avert any danger. United then had two more good openings to find a leveller before the break. Both coming through Galbraith, the midfielder first had a fierce effort brilliantly cleared off the line by Marsh on 34 minutes before he then stung the hands of Oluwayemi in first-half stoppage time.
We continued to defend resolutely following the restart and were throwing bodies on the line as we tried to stem United’s fightback. Yet, on 54 minutes, the momentum of the match seemed to switch back into our hands as the men in red endured a nervy moment at the back. What looked like a routine header back to to his goalkeeper from United's Alvaro Fernandez almost turned into an own goal as the defender had misjudged Kovar’s position. Ultimately, with the keeper well off his line, the defender’s header bounced just the wrong side of the post for us, but the incident appeared to provide us with the encouragement to ramp up our pressure on the Reds.
In the next six minutes, we created two glorious openings to double our lead through Mundle and Markanday but neither could quite drive the ball past keeper Kovar. On 64 minutes though, we eventually found our second, as Lavinier throttled the ball home from just inside the box. Moments later, United were then down to 10 men as an off-the-ball incident saw their skipper Galbraith shown a red card.
With the man advantage, we pressed on for a third and came agonisingly close on 70 minutes as Etete’s angled drive bounced just the wrong side of the post, yet we soon lost that numerical edge as Marsh received his marching orders with 11 minutes remaining after a coming-together with his marker. That late red card, however, made little impact on us as we continued to push for a third.
Substitute J’Neil Bennett came close to providing that with almost his first touch after coming on, but his strike was saved well by Kovar. However, we were not to be denied a third on 85 minutes as Etete volleyed into the far corner of the net. We could have then made it four in stoppage time, but Tobi Omole could not keep his header down from Kallum Cesay’s corner.
Spurs 3-0 Manchester United (Premier League 2)
Spurs: Oluwayemi, Lavinier, Cirkin, Michael Craig, Marsh, Omole, Markanday (Bennett 81), Bowden (c) (Cesay 81), Etete, John, Mundle (Pedder 89). Substitutes (not used): Lo-Tutala, Thorpe.
Manchester United: Kovar, Helm, Devine (Svidersky 84), Taylor, Fernandez, Galbraith (c), Shoretire, McCann, Joe Hugill, Mejbri, Hoogewerf (Emeran 64). Substitutes (not used): Mee, Forson, Savage.
Goals: Spurs – Bowden 27 (pen), Lavinier 64, Etete 85.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Marsh 15, John 38, Etete 67, Cirkin 67; United – Fernandez 45, McCann 59, Mejbri 67.
Red cards: Spurs – Marsh 79; United – Galbraith 67.
Referee: Daniel Lamport.
Venue: Hotspur Way.
Weather: Sunny, 11 degrees.