United’s FA Youth Cup campaign ended on Thursday night with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Blackburn Rovers.
Paul McGuinness’ young Reds gave a good account of themselves and dominated much of the possession at Ewood Park, but Blackburn proved better organised in defence and more clinical in the final third.
The final score barely reflected events on the pitch, although few would deny Blackburn deserve their spot in the sixth round. United were unlucky to go into the break 1-0 down, however, and then two goals – one netted at the death as the Reds chased the game and left holes at the back – killed off United's dreams of Youth Cup glory.
On a wet, zippy pitch, both sides did surprisingly well to keep possession and, for the most part, play attractive, passing football. There were still some challenges to get stuck into, however, and United’s midfielders did well against a battling Blackburn side.
One of those middle men, Paul Pogba, had the game’s first clear-cut chance. The Frenchman rose well to meet Nicky Ajose’s quick free-kick but his header, seemingly destined for the corner, was well saved by Rovers stopper Josh Swann. Ajose,