Under-23s: United shine against Liverpool

Saturday 02 October 2021 17:07

Manchester United Under-23s produced the best performance of our Premier League 2 Division One campaign so far as they claimed a confidence-boosting 3-0 victory over Liverpool on Saturday.

Bjorn Hardley and Anthony Elanga gave United a 2-0 advantage by the break and the win was sealed when Shola Shoretire scored a cracker seventeen minutes into the second half of a game watched by 2,227 supporters at Leigh Sports Village Stadium.

Older supporters will remember when almost all games were played on Saturdays and with United’s first team, Under-23s and Under-18s in action on the same afternoon, there was a hint of nostalgia in the air.

Dark clouds hung threateningly above the stadium as these two great rivals took the knee before getting the game started. And, as is the norm when the Reds of Manchester and Liverpool share the same pitch, it was clear that this was going to an entertaining and interesting fixture.
Zidane Iqbal tests the Liverpool defence at Leigh Sports Village.
United’s early threat came from wide players Shoretire and Alvaro Fernandez, who were both sprightly and penetrating. And Shoretire twice went close to giving his side the lead – firstly with an acrobatic effort and then via a low shot which forced Liverpool ‘keeper Liam Hughes into making a splendid save.

The Merseysiders were also short of luck in front of goal with Jack Bearne and Tyler Morton both testing the mettle of United’s defence.

There could easily have been an early goal at either end before the deadlock was broken by Hardley, who scored from close range in the 21st minute to give Neil Wood's side the lead.
There was little change in the end-to-end nature of the match, but it was United who created the better chances. Elanga hit the inside of Hughes’ right-hand post and Charlie Savage’s shot went inches wide seconds later.

Half-time was just moments away when Wood's men were celebrating again after Elanga had doubled the lead with a remarkable and audacious free kick from way out on the left wing. His effort, which bypassed a crowded area before finding the net just inside the far corner, was the highlight of an eye-catching display from the Sweden Under-21 international.
Elanga enjoys his audacious goal just before the break.
United entered the second period in very good shape with a two-goal cushion but nothing can ever be taken for granted when playing Liverpool so there was no easing up in our camp.

And following a period of extended activity in and around the visitors' area, a cracking strike from Shoretire put Wood’s side into what was to prove an unassailable position.

After the well-balanced state of play in the early stages, United had eventually stamped a real mark on the game and ultimately ran out worthy winners.
U23s highlights: United 3 Liverpool 0 Video

U23s highlights: United 3 Liverpool 0

Watch the goals from Hardley, Elanga and Shoretire, after a brilliant win over our arch-rivals...

Liverpool ended the game with 10 men after substitute Dom Corness was red-carded for clattering Martin Svidersky right under the gaze of referee Scott Simpson.


United: Kovar; Wellens, Mengi, McShane (Bennett 72), Hardley; Svidersky, Savage; Shoretire, Iqbal (McNeill 63), Fernandez (Emeran 90); Elanga.

Substitutes: Mee, Hoogewerf.

Scorers: Hardley 21, Elanga 45+1, Shoretire 62.