Academy Weekly: Youth Cup quarter-final ahead

Tuesday 22 February 2022 11:30

Snow caused the postponement of Manchester United Under-18s' away fixture at Blackburn Rovers this week, but the Under-23s got a draw in windy south London and focus now turns to an exciting night at Old Trafford.

Our Under-19s side this week discovered their upcoming opponents in the UEFA Youth League and many of that team will be involved on Thursday night at the Theatre of Dreams as Travis Binnion's young Reds host Leicester City in the FA Youth Cup quarter-final.

For more information on that, on the Under-23s' match and everything else you need to know from the Academy this week, read on...


Late equaliser at Palace

Under-23s centre-back Will Fish turned home a loose ball in the box late on to rescue a point for the Reds in Premier League 2. Crystal Palace had gone two goals ahead in the first half, through Scott Banks and John-Kymani Gordon, before Zidane Iqbal pulled one back just before the break. A tight second half followed before Fish proved the hero in added time, latching onto the loose ball after Hannibal delivered a corner and finishing past Joe Whitworth. For more match details, see our gallery above, or check out the highlights.

Blackburn match abandoned

After our home meeting with Blackburn Rovers in January was called off, the Under-18s faced further fixture frustration as this away match against the same opponents was abandoned due to snow during the first half. Two games will need to be played against Rovers, home and away, before the end of this season.

Excitement at UEFA Youth League draw

United have been drawn at home to Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Youth League’s round of 16. The one-legged tie will be played at Leigh Sports Village on 1 March (20:00 GMT kick-off).

“Everyone’s really excited that we’re playing against top opposition,” said Nick Cox, our Head of Academy.

“You want to play against the very best. We’re going to learn different stuff. What happens in our normal games programme is our boys become really familiar with the opposition. For some of our boys, they may have played against the same opponents since they were nine years old.

“What will happen against Dortmund is we’ll see a few conundrums that we’ve never faced before and the boys will have to work it out quick. Then they put that learning into their toolbox for further on in their careers. So we’re excited, we’re looking forward it, and it should be good fun.”

U23s highlights: Crystal Palace 2 United 2 Video

U23s highlights: Crystal Palace 2 United 2

See how the Under-23s staged a comeback to earn a 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace...

Loan watch

Di’Shon Bernard returned to the Hull City starting XI this week under new manager Shota Arveladze, helping the Tigers to a 1-1 away draw at QPR.

Dylan Levitt registered an assist, when his well-delivered corner was turned home by Ross Graham, as Dundee United held Scottish Premiership title challengers Rangers to a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon.

James Garner’s Nottingham Forest had their Friday night game against AFC Bournemouth postponed, while Teden Mengi was not involved for Birmingham City in their 2-2 draw with Stoke City. The same was true for Ethan Galbraith at Doncaster Rovers and Reece Devine for Walsall.


FA Youth Cup quarter-final

Led by head coach Travis Binnion, our Under-18s have beaten Scunthorpe United, Reading and Everton to get to the FA Youth Cup quarter-final and are excited to have a third opportunity this season to play at the Theatre of Dreams.

Leicester City are the opponents on Thursday night, for a 19:00 GMT kick-off. Supporters are encouraged to attend and support the boys, with 10,000 free tickets available from The vast majority of these have now been snapped up ahead of the deadline at 09:00 GMT on Thursday 24 February.

“The FA Youth Cup presents us with some amazing learning opportunities,” Nick Cox told us this week.

FA Youth Cup: United 4 Everton 1 Video

FA Youth Cup: United 4 Everton 1

Watch the goals from our FA Youth Cup win over Everton, and stay until the end for Garnacho's solo effort...

“The boys put some pressure on themselves to win and the history of the competition at this club puts a little bit of pressure on them as well, but I think the Academy staff are mindful of the purpose of the FA Youth Cup.

“It is to create amazing learning opportunities, to play in front of crowds, to feel a bit of pressure, to be familiar with Old Trafford, to try and deal with whatever conundrums cup competitions throw at you.”

League action for U23s

Neil Wood’s team host Derby County on Friday night at Leigh Sports Village. The match will be shown live on MUTV with coverage starting from 18:45 GMT, 15 minutes before kick-off.