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Academy Match Report: Galatasaray u19s 1-0 Manchester United u19s

by Colm Murphy

Manchester United u19s took on Galatasaray in the UEFA Youth League on Wednesday afternoon at the Kasimpasa stadium.

After non-stop heavy rain all day, the waterlogged pitch looked far from playable but the match went ahead.

United threatened quickly with James Scanlon beating his marker on the outside to move into the box and strike across goal to force an early save.

But it was the home side who would take the lead in the 10th minute when they worked the ball down the left side before cutting back for Baran Demiroglu to finish from the centre of the area.

Ali Turap Bülbül charged through the centre of the pitch over 50 yards before laying off the ball but a poor finish let United off after some wayward defending.

United enjoyed a good spell around the half hour mark with Scanlon inches away from a close-range tap-in before he then provided a curled pass to Habeeb Ogunneye at the back post who hit the side netting with his attempt.

The match went into the break with Galatasaray holding their 1-0 lead. The home side looked more comfortable playing direct in the poor conditions while United struggled to get out from the back with the water holding up the ball.

The second half was no better for the style of football on display with United’s right side becoming almost unplayable due to the amount of water that had gathered.

The young Reds started to show their quality late on though and Willy Kambwala came close when he rose at the back post to head down but it was blocked off the line.

Isak Hansen-Aaroen was somehow managing to gracefully dribble through the opposition despite the pitch and on one occasion drove past a number of Galatasaray defenders on the left side of the box before being denied by a fantastic save.

The farcical nature of the match was almost summed up in the 82nd minute when Elyh Harrison’s pass was stopped dead by a puddle which gifted an open shot for the Galatasaray forwards, who fortunately hit the cross bar.

Into injury time, a pair of chances fell to Ethan Wheatley and Kambwala but again the flooded pitch was too much to overcome as both struggled to get their shots off with the balls stuck in the water.

Ultimately, the match ended 1-0 to Galatasaray after 90 minutes which was surprisingly not called off earlier. The loss provides serious consequences though as United now head into matchday six bottom of the table with no chance of advancement.

United: Harrison, Ogunneye (McAllister 70), Kambwala, Kingdon, Nolan (Jackson 86), T. Fletcher (Sharpe 57), Fitzgerald (Curley 57), J. Fletcher, Hansen-Aaroen, Scanlon, Wheatley

Unused subs: Wooster, Missin, Musa

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