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Spurs U-21s v Man Utd U-21s, 14.04.14
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.


           Premier U-21 League 2013-14
           White Hart Lane, Tottenham
           Monday 14th April 2014, 7pm

            SPURS     v  MANCHESTER UNITED
        (White/Blue)        (Red/White)
            4-3-3              4-5-1

             0(0)               1(0) 

       Jordan Archer  1  Ben Amos
        Alex McQueen  2  Guillermo Varela(C)
      Connor Ogilvie  3  Reece James
    Nabil Bentaleb(C) 4  Patrick McNair
        Dominic Ball  5  Charni Ekangamene
         Zeki Fryers  6  Ben Pearson
      Kenneth McEvoy  7  Joe Rothwell
       Mousa Dembele  8  Louis Rowley
Souleymane Coulibaly  9  James Wilson
       Joshua Onomah 10  Andreas Pereira
      Ruben Lameiras 11  Saidy Janko

Giancarlo Gallifuoco 12  James Weir
           (4)68Mins     (2)18Mins
      Jonathan Miles 13  Joel Pereira
       Laste Dombaxe 14  Jack Rudge
   Daniel Akindayini 15  Joshua Harrop
           (9)84Mins     (8)78Mins
       Filip Lesniak 16  Ryan McConnell
           (6)46Mins

Scorer:- 
                         Wilson 58 

Booked:- 
                         Pearson 65(Foul)
                         Pereira 74(Foul)

Coach:- 
       P. Brush          W. Joyce

Attendance:- TBC

Referee: C. Brook
Assistants: D. Berry & D. Bonneywell
Fourth Official: J. Amadori

It was a chilly evening for the visit of Manchester United to The Lane in the U-21 league. Seventh place United were looking to push for the play-offs while the hosts struggle to get into the top half. Last season Spurs lost to United in the play-off final having dominated the league all season. Having given up on the league Spurs have been blooding some of their U-18 players with an England U-17 starlet (Joshua Onomah) making his first start at this level.

Spurs lined up with Archer in goal behind Ball and Fryers with McQueen at right back and Ogilvie on the left. Bentaleb anchored the midfield with Onomah and Dembele alongside him. Coulibaly led the line with McEvoy and Lameiras.

Spurs kicked off attacking the Paxton Road End, and quickly showed their attacking intent with Coulibaly finding the net from a Lameiras through ball only for the linesman flag to cut short the celebrations. The visitors defended in numbers closing down quickly and tackling strongly. Rowley man-marked Dembele in the opening period.

Bentaleb fired over from distance and Onomah was wide at the near post from a corner. Onomah drew a save from Amos before the visitors had to make an early change when Varela had to go off with a head injury.

United were happy to defend in numbers and pulled everybody back as Spurs mounted attack after attack. McEvoy won a corner and Coulibaly fired wide twice from passes by Lameiras and Bentaleb. Dembele passed to Onomah who played in McEvoy for an effort that was saved for a corner. McEvoy took the corner which Ball headed wide.

Amos then produced a double save, first from Lameiras who had dribbled into the area, and then pushing McEvoy's follow-up around the near post. Coulibaly played McEvoy through on the left but the winger drove into the side netting as Amos came out quickly. Amos needed treatment before the game re-started while Onomah left the field for five minutes leaving Spurs with ten players, not that you would have noticed as United held out til half-time.

Spurs made a change for the second half with Lesniak replacing Fryers at the back. With both full backs pushing up on the flanks it was noticable that Bentaleb dropped deep to cover the centre backs which took some of the pressure off the visitors.

Lameiras fired well over as the visitors' defence became stronger and better able to hold up Spurs attacks. United won a corner that reached the far post where Weir forced a save from Archer their first of the game. United then got down the right and Weir crossed for Wilson to shoot on the turn to beat Archer at the near post and give the visitors the lead.

Following a United corner Bentaleb broke away and Pearson had to pull him down as he got clear. The United player went into the ref's book for the cynical foul. Bentaleb was replaced soon after with the Captain's armband going to Ball. Bentaleb was replaced by Gallifuoco who partnered Ball, with Lesniak taking Bentaleb's position in front of the defence.

United received another yellow card when Lameiras dribbled inside two players on the right for a run into the area only to be tripped from behind by Pereira. Spurs made their last change bringing on Academy striker Akindayini for Coulibaly. United were defending well with Spurs reduced to throwing in crosses which were easy for Amos.

Lesniak played the ball to Ogilvie who got round the back and whipped the ball across the area, just missing a couple of white shirts. Lameiras fired wide and Pereira had a chance which he curled over before Amos had an easy save from Akindayini at the end.

Much like the U-18 game at the weekend, Spurs were the better team playing attacking football, while United played a containing game waiting for an opportunity to snatch the points. Spurs, for all their good work, were unable to break them down and get that vital opening goal.

Spurs have one more game to play which is a re-arranged home game against Reading. This will be played at Stevenage on Sunday 27th April with a 2pm kick-off. This I understand will be the last U-21 game as there will be yet another change to the system for next season.

Ray

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