Barclays Premier Reserve League
Moss Lane, Friday 4 May




04/05/2012 20:55, Report by Adam Marshall

Res: United 0 Sunderland 0

United had to settle for a second 0-0 draw this week at Moss Lane after Sunderland's Reserves ground out a goalless stalemate with the champions.

The Reds probably did not do enough to justify earning three points in the final league game of the campaign but still finished 14 points clear at the summit to set up a national play-off with southern victors Aston Villa next Thursday.

The Black Cats provided one scare towards Anders Lindegaard's net when Mikael Mandron's cross zipped dangerously across the face of goal with nobody there to apply a finishing touch. It took 20 minutes for the Reds to conjure up an attempt with Ryan Tunnicliffe injecting some pace into proceedings and feeding Ritchie De Laet but the Belgian's deep cross was volleyed off target by Davide Petrucci in full flight. The move signalled some slicker football by the champions but De Laet's prod wide after work by Tunnicliffe and Jesse Lingard was the only other noteworthy shot of the first half.

Robbie Brady replaced Marnick Vermijl at the break to increase the attacking options from left-back and the Reds stepped up a gear with the excellent Tunnicliffe forcing a decent save out of Jordan Pickford following a Petrucci pass.

Adam Reed shot wide for the visitors but most of the pressure came from United with Lingard lobbing a volley over the bar after a Larnell Cole corner was cleared to him and Tunnicliffe again working Pickford from distance.

De Laet saw a speculative volley comfortably held by the faultless Pickford and Brady's late free-kick was also fielded by the Sunderland keeper as Warren Joyce's side struggled to find the sort of flowing football that saw them win the division comfortably.

An improved display will probably be required if Villa are to be seen off in the national play-off at Old Trafford but at least there was another clean sheet.

United: Lindegaard; Vermijl (Brady 46), M.Keane, Fryers, De Laet; Cole, Thorpe (Wootton 86), Tunnicliffe, Petrucci, Lingard; W.Keane. Subs not used: Fornasier, Johnstone, Giverin.

More:  Joyce's advice for Keane | May dates set for Reserves


Premier League