Dylan Levitt celebrates his goal against Swansea City with his Manchester United U23s team-mates

United Under-23s sink the Swans

Monday 21 October 2019 21:00

Neil Wood's Reds returned to Premier League 2 action in style after a lengthy journey to South Wales, posting a conclusive 4-1 triumph over Swansea City at Landore Training Centre.

After going a goal down early on, United battled back to lead at the break thanks to Largie Ramazani's free-kick and Dylan Levitt’s penalty. Further contributions from Josh Gould (own goal) and Aliou Traore ensured the Reds stayed on the coat-tails of league leaders West Ham United in the race for promotion; the Hammers also collected three away points tonight, at Stoke City.

While Wood's team went into this game in second spot in the Premier League 2 Division 2 table, Swansea were comfortably placed in sixth position with ten points from seven fixtures completed.

The Reds welcomed back three players who’d been sidelined for varying lengths of time. Ethan Laird and D’Mani Mellor were back in the starting line-up after returning from injury, whilst Max Taylor was named on the bench as his recovery from cancer treatment continued.
Watch Ramazani equalise for the Reds with a free-kick in the 14th minute.
United's hopes of making a seamless return to the impressive form so far this season were given a jolt in the sixth minute, when the Swans swept into the lead with a speculative shot which looked to have taken a deflection off Teden Mengi before squeezing past Reds 'keeper Matej Kovar into the net.

It wasn’t an ideal start but United weren’t about to dwell on the early setback. Within eight minutes, we had recorded the leveller with a beautifully executed Largie Ramazani free-kick from the edge of the area.

Moments later, Swansea were very close to regaining the lead but a combined effort from Kovar and Laird ensured that Brandon Cooper’s route to goal was blocked.
There were plenty of incidents and goalmouth activity to entertain the 384 hardy souls who’d ignored the chilly evening conditions to attend the match. And the United supporters amongst the throng almost had another opportunity to celebrate when Dylan Levitt’s inch-perfect cross found Mellor but he couldn’t get the desired pace and direction on his header.

United were pushed into making a change, in the 37th minute, when central defender Mengi came out of what appeared to be an innocuous collision clutching his chest. Following treatment, he was helped from the field looking in some distress and it was later revealed that he had taken a knock to the ribs and thankfully this wasn’t as serious as was first thought.

Mengi was replaced in the centre of United’s back-line by the returning Taylor, who must have been delighted to get back into the action, although not at the cost of an injury to a team-mate.
Max Taylor made an accomplished return to action by coming on as a substitute.
Three minutes before the half-time cessation, United strode into the lead with Levitt converting from the penalty spot after the ball had been adjudged to have touched Brandon Cooper’s arm.

The second half pretty well followed the pattern of the earlier forty-five minutes with both goalkeepers and defences being kept busy.

Laird’s appetite for joining the attack bore fruit in the 75th minute, when his teasing cross from the right was met by Mellor, whose header crossed the line after glancing off Gould’s shoulder.

This third goal for United all but ended the resistance of Swansea, who battled their way into added time before Traore added a little icing to the cake when he struck home our fourth with an unstoppable shot.
Levitt's penalty put United 2-1 up just before the break.

United: Kovar; Laird (Hoogewerf 80), Mengi (Taylor 37), Bernard, Devine; Levitt, Galbraith, Puigmal; Traore, Mellor, Ramazani.

Substitutes not used: McGhee, Woolston.

Scorers: United - Ramazani 14, Levitt pen. 42, Gould o.g. 75, Traore 90+1. Swansea - K. Evans 6.