FA Youth Cup: Manchester United beat Leicester City 2-1 to reach semi-finals

Manchester United are into the FA Youth Cup semi-finals. A brace from Alejandro Garnacho saw United come from behind to claim a 2-1 win over a good Leicester City side.

United will face the winner of Wolves and Brighton in the semi-finals, which will be played in March at Old Trafford.

Starting XI: Vitek; Jurado, Fredericson, Bennett (c), Murray; Gore, Hansen-Aaroen, Mainoo, Mather; Garnacho, McNeill.

Substitutes: Wooster, Sharpe, Aljofree, Norkett, Ennis, Lawrence, Oyedele.

How it happened

Leicester had knocked out holders Aston Villa earlier in the competition and immediately they imposed themselves on the game.

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

1-0 to Leicester: Leicester’s press saw them intercept a pass from Kobbie Mainoo to Sam Murray, with the latter left injured on the ground after losing the challenge. The Foxes surged into United’s box and Chris Popov scored a deflected effort.

The goal meant a lot to Popov, who was released from Manchester United’s under-16s last summer. The Wales youth international signed for Leicester and has gone on to have a strong season, scoring in double figures for the under-18s.

United went up the other end and almost equalised, with Sam Murray firing an effort just wide. Alejandro Garnacho saw a shot saved minutes later.

Garnacho makes it 1-1: After Dan Gore was fouled on the edge of the Leicester box late in the first half, there was only going to be one player who took the free-kick, Alejandro Garnacho.

Garnacho showed why, curling a free-kick into the bottom corner to score his third goal of the the competition, with all three coming at Old Trafford.

Photo by Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images

Sam Mather was United’s brightest player as the second half began, while goalkeeper Radek Vitek was forced into an impressive double save. Charlie McNeill hit the side netting when presented with a good chance in the 65th minute.

United then made a change with Max Oyedele replacing Isak Hansen-Aaroen, who himself had fired a shot over the bar in the second half, before bringing striker Manni Norkett on to try and change the game.

Garnacho scores the winner: Alejandro Garnacho scored an 89th minute winner to take United into the semi-finals.

Kobbie Mainoo played ball across the box, which Garnacho brought down with one touch, before firing a fierce strike low into the bottom corner.

United deserved the winner with Leicester’s early control of the game fading, and the young Red Devils eventually broke them down, to the delight of 10,000 home fans at Old Trafford.

This is the second time in three years United have reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup, as they hope to win the competition for the first time since 2011.

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

How Manchester United reached this stage

  1. Manchester United 4-2 Scunthorpe (Mather, Garnacho, Oyedele, McNeill)
  2. Reading 1-3 Manchester United (Mainoo, Mather, McNeill)
  3. Manchester United 4-1 Everton (McNeill, Mainoo, Mather, Garnacho)
  4. Manchester United 2-1 Leicester (Garnacho x 2)
  5. Manchester United 3-0 Wolves (McNeill x 2, Garnacho)
  6. Manchester United 2-1 Nottingham Forest (Bennett, Garnacho x 2)
Thoughts? Comment Below
Dan is still wondering what would have happened if United had kept Juan Veron...