Reds achieve impressive FA Youth Cup victory
Manchester United have progressed into the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup with a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace in a thrilling encounter at a foggy Selhurst Park.
Travis Binnion’s Under-18s side are the current holders of the prestigious youth competition, having defeated Nottingham Forest in May’s Old Trafford final, attended by a 67,000-strong crowd.
The young Reds will next face Stoke City or Blackpool away, with the fourth-round tie needing to be played by Saturday 21 January 2023.
The Reds established a comfortable two-goal lead within 12 minutes. Maximilian Oyedele, one of three starters who had been involved with the first team’s training camp in Spain this week, scored the first, pouncing on a loose ball and finishing after an excellent left-wing run and cutback by Manni Norkett.
United goalkeeper Elyh Harrison made a superb save with his feet minutes later before launching a counter-attack. Sonny Aljofree’s long ball forward was received gratefully by Norkett, who showed great strength and speed to hold off his man before providing a clinical low left-footed finish.
Harrison and his opposite number Jackson Izquierdo kept the score at 2-0 to the Reds until half-time, with both goalkeepers producing a string of excellent saves.
Palace captain Freddie Bell dragged his side back into the game, spinning past James Nolan to create space and finishing past Harrison from a tight angle with a powerful strike.
Adler Nascimento’s curling effort struck the crossbar soon after, as Palace gained momentum around the hour-mark, but United soon calmed proceedings down, with substitutes Jack Moorhouse and Ethan Wheatley involved in the build-up for a third goal which sealed the result.
Moorhouse directed Wheatley’s pass onto Sam Mather, who cut inside onto his right foot and found the very top right corner with fewer than 15 minutes remaining.
The eventual 3-1 scoreline matched United's Youth Cup triumph at this same ground 30 years ago, in the first leg of the famous 1992 final.
Youth Cup: Palace 1 United 3Gallery
Our young Reds came out on top on a foggy afternoon at Selhurst Park...
Palace: Izquierdo; Kporha, Williams, Rodney, Grante, Jemide, Nascimento, Ozoh, Dixon (Agbinone), Bell (Mustapha), Marsh.
Subs not used: Socoliche, Hill, Gibbard, Austin, Cardines.
United: Harrison; Jackson, Fredicson, Aljofree, Nolan; Oyedele, Gore (c); Williams, Mather (Berry 90+1), Musa (Moorhouse 61), Norkett (Wheatley 74).
Subs not used: Fitzgerald, Wooster, Lacey.
Goals: Oyedele 9, Norkett 12, Mather 77.
Bookings: Manni Norkett 69.