UNDER-21S

Barclays U-21 Premier League Final
20 May 2013, Old Trafford

MANCHESTER UNITED 3
(Vermijl 60, Cole 74,88)

TOTTENHAM 2
(Obika 29, Pritchard 42)

Highlights on MUTV Online

 

20/05/2013 20:55, Report by Adam Marshall
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Report: United 3 Spurs 2

Manchester United are the winners of the inaugural Barclays Under-21 Premier League after a pulsating final at Old Trafford ended in a 3-2 victory over Tottenham.

Spurs led 2-0 at the break through Jonathan Obika and Alex Pritchard and looked well on course to lift the trophy but an incredible second-half comeback with a goal from Marnick Vermijl and a brace by Larnell Cole means yet more silverware for Warren Joyce's side. 

Adnan Januzaj was pitched into a lone attacking role with Ben Pearson drafted into the side for Tom Lawrence in the only change to the team that sank Liverpool at the semi-final stage. The Belgian teenager, on the bench for the 5-5 draw with West Brom on Sunday, made an instant impression but the visitors soon started to dictate the play.

Obika, who scored a hat-trick against the Reds earlier in the campaign, grazed the bar following a dangerous cross by Harry Kane while Cole was unable to hit the target at the other end after a sharp turn. Cristian Ceballos cut inside to bend a drive just wide and, after Jesse Lingard shot tamely at Jordan Archer after displaying  neat footwork, Kane hit a post with a ferocious attempt.

Kane drilled wide soon afterwards and it was no great surprise when Obika opened the scoring on 29 minutes. The muscular striker made an aggressive challenge on Ben Amos that prompted a complaint from the keeper but the goal stood as Pritchard nodded into Obika's path and he touched in.

United tried to respond but skipper Tom Thorpe was unable to convert a Januzaj free-kick on the stretch and a sucker punch three minutes before the interval left Joyce's side with a mountain to climb. Ryan Tunnicliffe's careless pass was intercepted by Obika and the ball was worked to Pritchard, who buried a low drive into the bottom corner of Amos' net.

It was going to take a Herculean effort from United but Joyce replaced Pearson with Lawrence in an attacking move and the substitute was involved when a Januzaj free-kick eventually fell to Lingard, whose shot was saved by Archer. Vermijl had overhit a cross from the right flank seconds earlier when he received an astute pass by

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