United U21 2 Spurs U21 1
Barclays U21 Premier League
Moss Lane, Altrincham
UNITED UNDER-21s 2
(Macheda 2, 50 pen)
TOTTENHAM UNDER-21s 1
(Mason 80 pen)
Federico Macheda scored both goals as a strong United side made it two wins out of two in the new Barclays Under-21 Premier League with a 2-1 triumph against Tottenham.
Recent recruit Alexander Buttner made his first appearance for the club at left-back while Jonny Evans, Darren Fletcher and Anders Lindegaard all played the full 90 minutes.
With Sir Alex Ferguson, Angelo Henriquez and Tom Cleverley amongst those in attendance, a goal arrived almost instantly, with around 70 seconds on the clock. Ryan Tunnicliffe won the ball in midfield to release Macheda and, when his shot was blocked by Jordan Archer, it rebounded back off the Italian and deflected into the net.
Joshua King’s blistering pace and some wayward shooting were the main features of the rest of the first half with Nick Powell having a shot blocked and then unable to supply the finishing touch following a run by the electric King. Captain Scott Wootton beat Harry Kane to head a dangerous cross behind and Spurs had openings but Andros Townsend, Iago Falque and Kane provided disappointing attempts.
King skied his finish after being put in the clear by the impressive Macheda and Robbie Brady clubbed an equally wayward shot off target as the Reds went in for the break a goal to the good. Buttner had to make a goalline clearance to thwart Townsend at the start of the second period before Macheda extended the lead from the penalty spot.
Powell collected a pass from the Italian striker and was unceremoniously bundled over by Adam Smith, allowing Macheda to calmly slot in his second goal of the night. Archer denied Michael Keane but Lindegaard was called upon at the other end to show his class. The Dane made a truly astounding double save to frustrate Jonathan Obika and Kane, although the latter’s effort would have been ruled out for offside.
Lindegaard dived to prevent Obika netting a tremendous overhead kick from Kane’s header and Warren Joyce introduced Jesse Lingard and Larnell Cole in a bid to regain control. However, after Kane worked Lindegaard again, the young striker earned a penalty after tumbling under Wootton’s challenge. Ryan Mason drilled in the spot-kick to give Spurs hope with 10 minutes left and end a run of over 10 hours without conceding a goal competitively for Joyce’s team.
The Reds held out with Tom Thorpe replacing King to add more defensive stability but the visitors provided a real test throughout the encounter.
United: Lindegaard; Wootton, Evans, Keane, Buttner; Fletcher, Tunnicliffe, Powell; King (Thorpe 85), Macheda (Cole 65), Brady (Lingard 60). Subs not used: Sutherland, Veseli.