Tahith Chong gets in a cross.

Under-19s bow out to Midtjylland

Wednesday 13 March 2019 13:06

Manchester United were knocked out of the UEFA Youth League 3-1 by Midtjylland, with Gustav Isaksen scoring twice.

Captain Angel Gomes cancelled out Isaksen's opener but further efforts in the second half by Isaksen and Oliver Olsen proved decisive, as the Reds finished the game with 10 men.

Mason Greenwood's absence due to illness led to D'Mani Mellor starting in attack, flanked by Tahith Chong and Nishan Burkart, but United were unable to show the sort of form that took us to this stage in some style.

Nicky Butt addresses his troops prior to kick-off.

The Reds were caught cold somewhat on a tricky sodden surface as the home side started brightly. With 11 minutes on the clock, Isaksen ran from around the halfway line and was not closed down. Ignoring an option to his left, he instead tried his luck with a low shot and it rolled past Matej Kovar's left hand and into the corner of the net.

It provided an early test of character for the youngsters but we responded well and began to work our way back into the tie, even if chances were at a premium at both ends.

Just past the half-hour mark, Mellor played in Ethan Laird and the attacking right-back was fouled by Patrick da Silva Ferreira Souza inside the box. Up stepped Gomes to calmly stroke the penalty past Elias Rafn Olafsson for his third goal of the competition.

The equaliser steadied United as we exerted more influence and control as the first half wore on.

Mellor was unable to direct his header, following the restart, after intelligent work by Chong and Laird, who remained a big threat. However, Olafsson was still largely untested in the Danish goal as both teams were having to work hard to fashion even a glimpse of an opening.

Chong did work Olafsson when moving into the box to provide a shot and the keeper clawed it away a little unconvincingly, but the rebound bounced away from Mellor inside the six-yard box. Nicky Butt introduced Largie Ramazani and Dylan Levitt, before Laird made way for Brandon Williams, but there was a hammer blow from Isaksen with 18 minutes left.

Antonis Martis appeared to foul Gomes from behind but there was no whistle and Christian Tue Jensen found Ikasen, whose finish was again accurate, even if lacking real power, as it beat Kovar to regain the lead for Midtjylland.

Lee O'Connor gets away from his man down United's left flank.

With time running out, Chong teased a cross to the far post that allowed Ramazani to head back towards goal, but Olafsson smothered relatively comfortably.

Any hopes of a comeback were extinguished when Olsen took advantage of a neat move down the right to deliver a sweeping finish past Kovar to wrap things up for the home side. In stoppage time, Lee O'Connor received his second yellow card for a foul on Isaksen and was sent off.

It means Midtjylland are through to travel to Porto in the quarter-finals, after they defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 earlier in the day.

United: Kovar; Laird (Williams 70), Ercolani (Elanga 84), Bernard, O'Connor; Garner, Gomes (c), Traore (Levitt 69); Chong, Mellor, Burkart (Traore 69).

Substitutes not used: Fojticek, Mengi, Galbraith.

Scorers: Isaksen 11,72 Olsen 87 | Gomes 31 (pen)

Yellow cards: Sery, Isaksen, Olsen | Laird, O'Connor, Garner

Red cards; O'Connor