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Mason Greenwood hails his sensational opener.

Under-18s: West Brom 3 United 4

Manchester United’s Under-18s were involved in another splendid ding-dong battle before claiming our fourth win of the season away at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

A week ago it was a seven-goal thriller against Blackburn Rovers and that scoreline was replicated in this thoroughly entertaining Premier League Under-18 fixture.

It was dull and chilly in this little corner of the Black Country as Mason Greenwood, scorer of four goals in the past week, started the game 45 minutes later than scheduled after United’s team coach was caught up in traffic on the M6. 

Mason Greenwood is surrounded by defenders.
Mason Greenwood was hugely influential in attack.

Neil Ryan’s charges didn’t appear affected by the delayed journey to the West Midlands and were immediately putting the West Brom defence under pressure. The Reds certainly looked as though we meant business and, in the 10th minute, the early dominance bore fruit when Greenwood, with supreme skill, placed the ball past Baggies’ keeper Ted Cann with an outstanding volley from Teden Mengi's headed lay-off.

It was the young striker’s ninth goal of the season, eight domestically and one in the UEFA Youth League against BSC Young Boys in Bern on Wednesday.

This great start by United could easily have unsettled Albion, but credit to them for, in the 21st minute, they were level when Morgan Rogers did well down the right before crossing the ball into the area where striker Jamie Soule tapped home the equaliser.

Eight minutes before the break, United were back in front after Aliou Traore had taken great pass from Greenwood before beating Cann from close range. All looked well for the Reds, but then, in the space four minutes, Albion turned the game on its head with two goals scored by Zak Brown and Rayhaan Tulloch. Remarkably, it was the fourth time since the opening day of the season that United had conceded three goals in a game and Tulloch’s 44th minute was the 32nd goal scored in United’s five and half league games.

Having done the sums after first half it wasn’t before they were out of date because, six minutes into the second period, United had restored parity with Greenwood involved again in setting up the overlapping Brandon Williams to grab United’s third of the afternoon with a clever finish.

Williams’s goal launched United into our best spell of the game and the visitors were so unlucky not have regained the lead when long range shots from Dylan Levitt and Ethan Laird missed the intended target by inches.

However, help was at hand and, in the 68th minute, United were back in the lead and, predictably, it was yet another terrific goal from the on-fire Greenwood. There appeared to be little real danger for Albion, but Greenwood is proficient at making the most of a tight space and he showed that extraordinary talent again to blast United back in front with an explosive left-foot drive. This was certainly not an easy victory for United, but their command of the game in the second period proved to be decisive.
Mason Greenwood celebrates his opener.
Mason Greenwood celebrates the opening goal.
Brandon Williams challenges for the ball.
Brandon Williams scored a superb goal in the second half.

United: Fojticek; Laird, Mengi, Bernard, B. Williams; Traore, Levitt, McCann (Stanley 70); Elanga (Mellor 70), Greenwood, Galbraith. Subs not used: Mee, Bejger, McGhee.

Scorers:

West Brom 3 (Soule 21, Brown 40, Tulloch 44)

United 4 (Greenwood 10 68, Traore 37, B, Williams 51)