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Callum Gribbin is challenged by Villarreal's Manuel Morlanes

Under-23s: Manchester United 0 Villarreal 2

Two goals at the start of the second half accounted for Manchester United's Premier League International Cup aspirations as Villarreal won 2-0 at Leigh Sports Village.

Ricky Sbragia's Reds performed well in the first half and created all of the noteworthy chances. Tosin Kehinde flashed a drive wide as early as the fifth minute, after turning sharply onto a pass by fit-again Callum Gribbin, before Devonte Redmond was unable to hit the target when the ball fell to him on the edge of the box.

Tahith Chong's run led to another chance for Kehinde and the attack continued with Ethan Hamilton's fierce effort testing Jose Antonio Martinez in the visitors' goal. Martinez's best save, however, came when he repelled a Chong shot after the Dutchman latched onto a loose clearance from a Zak Dearnley cross.
Tahith Chong and Callum Gribbin attack the Villarreal defence
Chong, backed up here by Gribbin, posed a threat to Villarreal
Things were looking promising until the Reds were kept waiting in the freezing cold for Villarreal to re-emerge for the second half. Whether there was any gamesmanship involved was not clear but United were certainly caught cold and the tie was lost within the next five minutes.

Dearnley won possession in midfield but a careless pass led to the ball being collected by Adrian Dalmau, who ruthlessly punished the mistake by tricking his way past Ro-Shaun Williams and finishing smartly beyond Kieran O'Hara.
The Reds' response to going behind was initially good, with Hamilton's cross fizzing across the six-yard box, but the Spanish side attacked again and Joe Riley was caught on the ball in defence. Luca Ercolani was unable to retrieve the situation and Pedro Martinez gratefully accepted a simple opportunity.

Redmond made an important challenge to prevent Cristian Cedres scoring a third goal for Villarreal on the break as United really had the stuffing knocked out of the cup campaign. The hosts tried to stage a late comeback and Hamilton fired wide but O'Hara was the busier of the two keepers in the closing stages.
Devonte Redmond on the ball
Redmond helped to prevent a third Villarreal goal but the Reds still bowed out of the PL International Cup
The Under-23s' next assignment is Saturday's Premier League 2 match against Sunderland at Old Trafford, with kick-off at 13:00 GMT.

United: O’Hara; Riley, R. Williams, Ercolani, Olosunde (Warren 46); Redmond; Chong, Hamilton, Gribbin (Bohui 69), Kehinde; Dearnley (Boonen 78).

Subs not used: Richardson, Kenyon, Buffonge, Whelan.

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