Henderson and Jones appear for Under-23s
Manchester United Under-23s lost to their Arsenal counterparts in Premier League 2 on Saturday but Phil Jones and Dean Henderson gained valuable game time.
Neil Wood’s Reds had made the journey down south to face the Gunners on Saturday. On our last trip to the capital, United came away with a point against Chelsea U23s.
As first-team manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told us on Friday, that he would look to give Dean Henderson some games with the Under-23s and our Academy product started. So did Phil Jones, who is working his way back to full fitness.
Unfortunately, it was not to be in our second away league match of the campaign. Shola Shoretire scored for the Reds but two first-half goals from Folarin Balogun and an injury-time strike from Charlie Patino made sure the hosts took the points.
It was a tough start for United as we fell fell behind after just two minutes following a powerful long-range effort from Gunners striker Balogun.
In a tightly contested first half, the home side managed to grab a second goal just before half-time. Following a quick counter-attack, Balogun scored his second of the day by finishing clinically in a one-on-one with Henderson.
Our goalkeeper then pulled off a stunning save shortly after the Gunners’ second. Eddie Nketiah was one clean through on our England stopper but Henderson reacted quickly down to his left to deny the forward’s shot.
After the disappointing end to the first 45 minutes, the Reds came out fighting in the second half and deservedly got a goal just after the hour.
Shoretire curled in a beautiful goal from outside the area with his right foot into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
United then continued the search for another goal to equalise and Jones was extremely unlucky not to do so soon after Shoretire’s strike. The defender rose highest in the box and headed a precise corner against the crossbar.
Unfortunately, that was as close Wood’s men came to an equaliser. In injury time, Patino added a third for the Gunners.
United’s U23s are back in Premier League 2 action next weekend when Brighton & Hove Albion U23s come to Leigh Sports Village.
United: Henderson; Wellens, Jones, Mengi (c), Hardley; Svidersky, Savage; Shoretire (McNeill 75) , Hannibal, Iqbal, Hugill.
Unused substitutes: Vitek, Murray, McShane, Mather.
Scorers: Balogun 2,40 Patino 90+2 | Shoretire 63.