Under-23s: Reds go top with comeback win
Manchester United’s Under-23s leapfrogged over long-time leaders West Ham United to the summit of the Premier League 2 Division Two table, following a hard-earned 2-1 win over Norwich City at Carrow Road on Friday evening.
However, the Hammers could regain top spot on Sunday when they make the long trek north to face basement club Sunderland, who’ve incredibly taken just a solitary point from the fifteen games they have completed so far.
Slovakian goalkeeper Alex Fojticek was recalled from his loan spell with non-league club Stalybridge Celtic, as was defender Max Taylor. And Barlow was also back in a red shirt following his stint in Norway with Tromso. Despite the alterations, it was still a strong-looking side that lined up to take on the yellow-shirted Canaries.
That almost instant shock could easily have taken the wind out of United’s sails but the reaction was a positive one and with Angel Gomes looking to be at his mercurial best, the Reds were soon giving the home side's defence some uneasy moments.
It therefore came as little surprise when, in the 17th minute, Gomes' delicately executed pass found Barlow, who managed to find the net by lifting the ball over the Canaries’ ‘keeper Archie Mair.
The Reds' first-half resurgence spilled over into the second half but despite continuing to have the largest chunk of possession, the threat posed by Norwich kept the likes of the impressive Teden Mengi on their toes in our defence.
The Canaries had arrived at this game with precisely the same record as United from their previous five games – four wins and one defeat – so it was expected to be a tight contest and so it proved, with the Reds just shading it to go top.
United: Fojticek; Puigmal, Mengi, Taylor, McGhee; Garner, Galbraith, Levitt; Barlow (Mejbri 73), Gomes, Traore.
Substitutes not used: Ramazani, Carney, Helm, Wellens.
Goals: Norwich - Ahadme 3 | United - Barlow 17, Traore 37.