FA Youth Cup Final - 1st Leg - Match Report

Posted by liverweb on April 17, 2007, 09:29:15 AM

Liverpool 1 Manchester United 2

The Reds go in to the second leg of the youth cup final a goal behind following a two one loss at Anfield. Just under half full the Anfield crowd saw a bright start from the Reds and a one goal lead. However as the game wore on the Reds surrendered possession and finally their lead. United finally took control of the match with a decisive penalty eighteen minutes from time. It means the Reds have an uphill task in the second leg to retain the trophy but they have enough spirit to get them there.

The Reds got the game underway attacking the Kop end in the first half. It was all Liverpool really early on as well as they harried United at their back line whilst looking to pass the ball around well. On two minutes Spearing put in a decent cross for Lindfield but it was just to close to Zieler who held on well.

United were forced to play on the counter attack early on. On eight minutes they broke well but Brandy shot across Hansen and well wide of the target when he should have tested the young Reds keeper. A minute later at the other end and Burns was just beaten to a ball in the area from an excellent Barnett cross.

The Reds grabbed a deserved lead on sixteen minutes and it was down to Ray Putterill that the goal came about really. Putterill received a bal out wide left and attacked his man. After jinking one way and the other he then sold his man completely before crossing to the edge of the six yard box where Lindfield headed home past a stranded keeper. It was certainly what the Reds deserved.

The Reds needed to really tighten the screw at this point but they failed to really test Zieler much more. Brandy was looking United's main threat and he shot wide with an acrobatic scissor kick from six yards on twenty one minutes. A few minutes later and full back Stephen Darby nearly put through his own net but thankfully his header back to Hansen was weak enough that the keeper had time to run back and grab the ball.

On the half hour Putterill sat a decent cross up at the back post but Woodward just couldn't quite get a decisive touch on the ball. Putterill was certainly the best outlet for the Reds. As time ticked on though United started to dominate the midfield more in the middle of the pitch which forced the Reds back a bit. It was what United needed to get back in to the game.

On thirty two minutes there was a chance at either end. First of all United broke and Fagan forced a superb save from Hansen. The Reds picked the ball up and charged to the other end where Charlie Barnett found himself able to get a shot in on the United goal. Under pressure though he could only stab the ball weakly at Zieler who saved with ease.

Six minutes before half time and the Reds had another decent chance when Burns picked the ball up in midfield. His old skills from left wing were put to use as he broke with pace before delivering a cross for Lindfield only for Evans to come in at the last minute and clear the danger. On half time the United keeper was given a wake up call when he was clattered by Lindfield with both trying to reach a cross from Putterill.

The second half saw United kick off with no changes made on either team. The half was just five minutes old when the scores were level again. Galbraith broke down the left side and delivered one of those crosses that has to be dealt with. Threlfall tracking back had to block the ball somehow with Brandy closing in ahead of his man behind him. Sadly for Threlfall the bounce flicked off his head and went flying past a helpless Hansen in the Reds goal. It was gutting for Robbie who is so consistent.

The goal gave United more hope of getting something more out of the game and both sides were happy to keep attacking. No concept of closing the game off at this level which is great to see. Old fashioned attacking football!

Brandy picked up a booking in fifty three minutes when he was late catching Burns in a tackle. The tackle itself merited it but he'd also put in a few other fouls. On fifty five minutes Hewson hit a great shot on goal which Hansen palmed away well. As the ball finally fell cleanly Wellbeck shot wide when he should have done better.

On fifty seven minutes there was a half opening for the Reds when Woodward linked up with Lindfield. Woodward headed down his fellow striker but as he shaped to shoot Chester threw in a great tackle to avert the danger. The Reds had a penalty claim on sixty two following a throw in to the area. The ball fell kindly for Putterill but his shot which was blasted on goal was blocked by the arm of a United defender inches away from him. I've seen them given but given how close he was this one would have been harsh in my opinion.

The Reds made a change on sixty seven minutes replacing Woodward with Eccleston. United were starting to command the game a bit more now and the play was getting very stretched. United got their winner from the penalty spot on seventy three minutes when Febian Brandy was brought down in the box by Spearing. Brandy was looking to shoot on goal when the tackle just caught him and referee Mark Clattenburg had no hesitation in giving the spot kick. It didn't stop Brandy being booed for the rest of the game though. United captain Hewson spotted the ball up and sent Hansen the wrong way as he calmly scored in the bottom corner.

The goal did seem to wake the Reds up a little more and the fans tried to really get behind the Reds. It all just seemed to be a bit frantic though with no real structure to the Reds' play. Evans was booked in the final minute when he went in hard on Eccleston and came off worst for it too.

As the final whistle blew though it was a defeat for the Reds but the tie is certainly not over with the second leg to come in just over a weeks time. The Reds will need to play more like they started this game though if they are to get anything out of it I fear. United were a decent side although the Reds can more than match it if they put their minds too it. They'll certainly need to if they want to lift the trophy again.

MotM : Ray Putterill - the one bright spark throughout for the Reds but wasn't given enough ball. He always looks a danger on the ball but sometimes needs to get more involved in the action.

Liverpool Hansen, Darby, Burns, Spearing ©, Threlfall, Barnett, Ryan, Flynn, Lindfield, Woodward (Eccleston 67), Putterill
Unused Subs Roberts, Irwin, Highdale, Parsonage
Goal Lindfield (16)

Manchester United Zieler, Eckersley, Evans, Strickland, Chester, Drinkwater (Bryan 74), Welbeck, Hewson (capt), Brandy (James 90), Fagan, Galbraith
Unused Subs McCormack, Woods, Moffatt
Goal OG - Threlfall (50), Hewson (pen 73)

Referee Mark Clattenburg

copyright : Liverweb 2007

View Comments | Post Comment