McNeill and Garnacho fire Manchester United to FA Youth Cup semi-final win
Manchester United are into the FA Youth Cup final after a 3-0 win over Wolves.
Charlie McNeill (2) and Alejandro Garnacho scored the goals in a game United dominated from the first whistle.
How United lined up
United named an unchanged starting 11 from the team which beat Leicester City 2-1 in the quarter-final.
XI: Vitek; Jurado, Bennett, Fredricson, Murray; Gore, Mainoo, Hansen-Aaroen; Mather, Garnacho; McNeill
Substitutes: Wooster, Kambwala, Forson, Pye, Oyedele, Hugill, Norkett,
The players received a pre-match talk from United captain Harry Maguire before the game kicked off.
How the game went
United started the brighter team and it took just 15 minutes to find the breakthrough. An incisive pass from Isak Hansen-Aaroen split the defence and put Charlie McNeill through on goal.
McNeill’s first touch took him round the onrushing goalkeeper and while he still had a lot to do, he put the ball into the back of the net from a wide angle, evading a chasing back Wolves defender.
Alejandro Garnacho nearly doubled United’s lead 10 minutes later but his effort from close range was saved.
Garnacho then saw an effort cleared off the line before Hansen-Aaroen fired the rebound wide when it seemed easier to score. McNeill fizzed another strike across goal in vain as United pushed forward to try and double their lead.
Wolves then had a couple of efforts themselves, reminding United of the dangers of not taking their chances, and then hit the post for good measure too.
The second half began tentatively for both teams, amid the knowledge the next goal would be crucial. McNeill almost added another when he hit his effort wide after an excellent through ball from Kobbie Mainoo.
In the end it was Alejandro Garnacho who scored the second, his fifth in the competition. Receiving the ball from Sam Mather, he ran into the penalty box, stopped to compose himself as he cut inside, and curled the ball past the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
United then brought Max Oyedele on to shore up the midfield, with winger Sam Mather replaced with half an hour to go.
The young Red Devils managed the game well and kept Wolves at bay. They continued to create chances with Kobbie Mainoo especially impressive in midfield.
United rounded the game off after another through ball from Mainoo put Garnacho through, his shot was saved, with McNeill scoring the rebound.
The win was fully deserved and United are now just one win away from silverware, reaching a first Youth Cup final since 2011.
You can view United’s list of FA Youth Cup top scorers in this year’s competition here.
United face a wait to find out the team’s next opponents. Nottingham Forest host Chelsea on March 26.
The big news is the final will be played at Old Trafford, giving United home advantage, whoever the opponent is.