UNDER-21S

Barclays U21 Premier League
Old Trafford
Monday 10 February, 19:00 GMT

MANCHESTER UTD 2
(M.Keane 33, Pereira 42)

WEST HAM 1
(Fanimo 41)


10/02/2014 20:42, Report by Adam Marshall
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U21s: United 2 West Ham 1

Manchester United's Under-21s enjoyed a run-out at Old Trafford by securing a 2-1 victory against West Ham.

Michael Keane rifled home to open the scoring and, seconds after Matthias Fanimo's well-struck equaliser, a third wonderful strike by Andreas Pereira was enough to earn the points and ensure Warren Joyce's side leapfrog the Hammers in the table.

Despite lacking an orthodox striker due to James Wilson's absence through illness, the Reds looked a threat from the outset with Joe Rothwell having a shot blocked. Pereira drifted a free-kick off target and Davide Petrucci worked Raphael Spiegel, following a beautiful piece of skill, before Elliot Lee headed wide for the visitors.

The match burst into life when Guillermo Varela and Saidy Janko were involved in the build-up that led to Keane receiving the ball inside the box. The centre-back twisted superbly to find enough space to bury a low drive his twin brother, striker Will, would have been proud of.

Jesse Lingard forced a save out of Spiegel but the Londoners levelled four minutes before the break when Kyle Knoyle's cross was touched back by Lee for Fanimo to unleash an unstoppable left-footed drive past Ben Amos.

The Reds' response was immediate and emphatic. Straight from the restart, Lingard's run was halted but Pereira bent a stunning finish into the net from the edge of the box, a mere 46 seconds after the equaliser. Only the bar denied Rothwell a third before half time after another positive run and cross by Janko.

Pereira and Reece James, who fired well over from a decent shooting opportunity, had efforts but the second period was understandably a little more subdued after the pulsating end to the first 45 minutes. Substitute Blair Turgott delayed his shot for too long and was crowded out at the other end but United dictated much of the play.

Despite an injury forcing Rothwell off the field, the best chances continued to fall to the home side with Lingard screwing wide as the game entered the closing stages. Leo Chambers spurned one chance to snatch a point when blazing into the empty East Stand after Petrucci was unable to clear a near-post corner.

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