Celebrations for D'Mani Mellor and Mason Greenwood.

FA Youth Cup: United 4 Chelsea 3

Monday 17 December 2018 21:18

Manchester United's Under-18s had a night to remember by knocking holders Chelsea out of the FA Youth Cup in a scintillating game of football.

The third-round tie had everything, including a hat-trick for Mason Greenwood plus a goal for Di'Shon Bernard, who was then sent off against his former club. Chelsea were level at the break through Tariq Lamptey and scored twice within 50 seconds towards the end to set up a tense finale, thanks to a penalty by Faustino Anjorin and Daishawn Redan. However, United held out to ensure a famous success against a club that has dominated this competition in recent years.

Greenwood served notice of his intentions in only the third minute when collecting a pass by Aliou Traore and flashing a left-foot shot across goal from a tight angle. However, the Blues did not heed the warning and, five minutes later, Karlo Ziger slipped when coming to meet a Marcel Lavinier backpass and then tried to trick his way past the on-rushing Greenwood. The 17-year-old striker pounced and kept his composure to find the net with a mature piece of finishing.
Mason Greenwood is mobbed after his early goal.

Chelsea were always going to respond and Reds captain Brandon Williams had to make a desperate clearance, with the resulting corner being headed onto the roof of the net by the Blues' Jack Wakely. Yet United maintained a threat, particularly through Greenwood who launched a cheeky long-range attempt that was off target, before juggling the ball on the edge of the area and hammering a powerful shot straight at Ziger. In between those efforts, Chelsea's Lamptey was booked for simulation after going to ground under a James Garner challenge in the box.

Garner was heavily involved at centre-back, getting his trajectory wrong on a free-kick at one end, the ball going wide of the goal, and then heading off the line at the other in stirring fashion when Redan was about to celebrate the visitors' equaliser. The Londoners did still get back on level terms, even though James Thompson saved a stinging drive by Clinton Mola. A flowing move carved open the Reds' defence and Lamptey neatly slid a left-foot shot past Thompson to make it all-square as the half drew to a close.

United coach Neil Ryan made a tactical switch for the second half by introducing Teden Mengi at the back and releasing Garner into midfield, with Charlie McCann going off. Within seconds of the restart, Traore found Greenwood in space and the England Under-18 international danced into the area to plan a clinical finish past Ziger, for a strike similar to the one he bagged against Juventus here in the UEFA Youth League.

Chelsea were kept at arm's length, with Dynel Simeu having a rare glimpse of a chance for them from a corner. Bernard then extended the Reds' lead when his effort was adjudged to have crossed the line, following a Dylan Levitt free-kick, before Ziger could claw it away.

Di'Shon Bernard is elated when his goal is given.

However, centre-back Bernard was sent off just eight minutes later, following a second yellow card for a foul on Lamptey, who was lucky to escape another booking himself seconds earlier for an elbow on Arnau Puigmal.

Thompson kept out Billy Gilmour's free-kick, with the help of his near post, before Greenwood looked to have made a place in the next round secure. The Reds' no.9 nipped in to win the ball against Lavinier and ran at the defence to find the corner of the net with his left foot to claim his hat-trick and cap a sensational performance.

Watch our video clip as Greenwood completes his hat-trick.

However, the visitors were never going to admit defeat easily after winning six of the last seven editions of this famous tournament. 

United substitute Anthony Elanga pulled back Ian Maatsen, inside the box according to the referee, and Anjorin smashed in the penalty. From the next attack, Redan turned Garner to slip the ball home off Thompson and spark a frenetic finale. In truth, despite the tension, it was the Reds who came closest to scoring again when Elanga hit a post from a D'Mani Mellor pass in stoppage time.

This was a truly excellent result for Neil Ryan's side and it sets up a home tie with Brighton & Hove Albion in round four.


United:Thompson; Puigmal, Bernard, Garner, B. Williams (c) (Elanga 59); Galbraith, Levitt (McGhee 95), Traore; McCann (Mengi 46), Mellor, Greenwood. 

Subs not used: Carney, Ramazani.

Scorers: Greenwood 9, 46, 79, Bernard 65 | Lamptey 43, Anjorin 83, Redan 84

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