Manchester United fielded a strong side but couldn’t take all three points against Tottenham Hotspur in an Under 21 Premier League top of the table clash, which ended in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
Two first-half goals were all that the few thousand fans inside the Theatre of Dreams were treated too, with a stunning Rafael Da Silva long range effort cancelling out Spurs’ midfielder Kenny McEvoy’s opener.
With Rafael, Victor Valdes, James Wilson and Radamel Falcao all starting, United were looking to go three points clear of Spurs at the top of the table with the two sides level before kick-off, and will have been left frustrated with their inability to take all three points in front of their own fans.
It was the visitors who had the first real attempt of the game, with Grant Ward firing a close range free-kick just over Valdes’ bar. The Red’s dominated possession, however, in the opening minutes with the lively Rafael causing problems from the right back position. All eyes were on Colombian star Falcao, but the forward rarely troubled the young Spurs defence throughout the game before being substituted in the second half.
James Wilson forced a good save from Tottenham keeper Luke McGee, before the visitors took the lead somewhat against the run of play. Some poor United defending – not too dissimilar to that of the first team against Arsenal on Monday night – lead to Kenny McEvoy finishing from close range.
United were level before too long, though, when some equally questionable Tottenham defending and a failure to clear their lines led to Rafael da Silva scoring a sensational left-footed lob from over 30 yards out.
The second half failed to live up to the lively first, with neither team creating anything clear cut. Tottenham rattled the bar from close range whilst a group of young United fans led chants of ‘Attack! Attack! Attack!’ – echoing the atmosphere of first team matches in recent weeks.
A deflated Falcao was substituted after 72 minutes, with an ironic cheer from the crowd as he begrudgingly trudged off the pitch. The striker failed to make an impact with only minimal touches throughout the match.
January loan signing Andy Kellett was brought on for his first taste of Old Trafford action, and James Wilson again tested McGee, but the game fizzled out into a 1-1 draw. The point leaves United ahead of Spurs only on goal difference, having played a game more.
Valdes (GK), Rafael, Love, Thorpe, James, Grimshaw, Goss, Rothwell, Falcao, Pereira, Wilson.
Harrop, O’Hara, Kellett, Willock, Tuanzebe
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