United learn FA Youth Cup final opponents
Manchester United's Under-18s will host Nottingham Forest in the FA Youth Cup final.
Nottingham Forest scored twice in five minutes to come from behind and defeat Chelsea in their semi-final on Monday night. Played at Forest's City Ground, Chelsea had led through Charlie Webster's deflected 18-yard effort. Dale Taylor equalised for the hosts in the 86th minute before two goals, the latter a penalty, from Esapa Osong completed a remarkable late comeback.
Travis Binnion’s United side secured our own final berth with a convincing 3-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers. Charlie McNeill scored twice and Alejandro Garnacho once in March’s Old Trafford semi-final, our fourth tie played at the Theatre of Dreams this season.
The exact date and kick-off time for the final will be communicated as soon as possible. The match will be played at our Old Trafford and supporters are welcome and encouraged to attend and support the team. Tickets will be available to purchase for £1, with all proceeds going to the Manchester United Foundation.
United are the most successful club in FA Youth Cup history, with 10 tournament victories, and the side that last lifted the trophy 11 years ago included current first-team players Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard.
Final opponents Nottingham Forest have never reached the competition’s final before. They are managed by Warren Joyce, who was a fantastic servant of United for eight years (2008-2016) in his role as Reserves coach.
Their journey to the final began with a 3-1 win over Bristol City. Three away goals followed - an experience which will no doubt help Forest as they come to Old Trafford for the one-legged final. Goals from Dale Taylor and Jack Nadin secured a 2-1 win at Peterborough United before a 5-3 victory on penalties over nearby Cambridge United in the next round. A convincing 3-1 win at Blackburn Rovers followed before the semi-final win against Chelsea. Esapa Osong is the team's top goalscorer in the campaign thus far, with five goals to his name.
OUR ROUTE TO THE FINAL
Our Under-18s have triumphed over Scunthorpe United, Reading, Everton, Leicester City, and most recently Wolves.
'IT FAST TRACKS DEVELOPMENT'
"It's a massive competition for the club," Under-18s coach Colin Little said after the semi-final.
"Obviously we won the first five and anybody who works at the club knows how well we want to do in it. We really value it and we've not been there [the final] enough recently. It's a good achievement and we're really looking forward to the final.
"Now we’ve got to the final obviously you want to win it, but it is always about the development of the players. Each time you can get them a game at Old Trafford, or at Reading away, it’s another challenge for them and it helps them on their way.
"If you get further and further in the rounds, it really fast tracks them into having experiences that can really make them into people who can go and play in the first team, like Anthony Elanga or Marcus [Rashford]. The more experience they can get in these high-level games, the more chance we have of getting them across to the other side of the building at Carrington.
"It’s really important to get further in the rounds, it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t develop players if you don’t get to win or get to the finals but it’s great to do that as well because this club is built on youth. Everybody who works here knows that we want to get these young players into the team, it’s what we’re about and it’s in our DNA, so it’s important that we keep getting towards the end of these and winning some things as well."