Report: City U23s beaten 2-0 by Manchester United but are left to rue missed chances
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City’s U23 squad were beaten by Manchester United U23s 2-0 in the Premier League 2, after goals from James Garner and Largie Ramazani succumbing the young Canaries to back to back defeats.
The loss leaves David Wright's men second from bottom in the division, with only one victory from their opening seven games.
City's current injury crisis means a lack of seniority among their youth ranks, with a young side paying the price for their inexperience. This was by no means a display whereby Norwich got outplayed, but United were clinical in their finishing and took all three points as they accelerated to the top of the league.
Wright was without key operators Aidan Fitzpatrick and Adam Idah as City were left to rue missed chances in the opening 25 minutes, with some positive possession not being capitalised upon.
The Canaries enjoyed some positive spells throughout the game, with chances falling to Isak Thorvaldsson, Tom Scully and Rob Nizet prior to the Red Devils taking the lead.
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Archie Mair made a terrific save on 33 minutes, displaying excellent reflexes to save Garner's deflected free kick. From there, United took the impetus with a slaloming run down the left by winger Anthony Elanga finding Joe Devine whose cut back was side footed beyond Mair by Garner.
United then saw a goal disallowed on the stroke of half time with Ramazani's goal chalked off after the referee spotted a foul on the City goalkeeper.
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Norwich's young squad displayed plenty of promise but lacked the cutting edge in the final third to take the lead. That was emphasised further after the interval with Gassan Ahadme sent one-on-one with Lee Grant only for the experienced goalkeeper to save well at full stretch. City's early dominance continued, with Josh Martin striking just wide after Saul Milovanovic won the ball back in the final third.
It was on the 68th minute when United doubled their advantage with the lively Elanga winning a penalty following an exciting burst into the box. The spot-kick was converted by Ramazani and that proved to be too great a margin for City to recover from.
The young Canaries were left to rue their chances, knowing that the conversion of some of the opportunities they created could have led to a different outcome. The priority with the development squad is all about performances, with the intention being about individual pathways geared towards creating a professional career for the operators involved.
Their next game isn't until the 18th October, where they'll face West Brom. Wright will be keen for his side to record a result and improve their confidence,
Manchester United (4-2-3-1) Grant; Puigmal, Mengi, Bernard, Devine; Garner, Traore; McGhee (Helm 64), Galbraith, Elanga; Ramazani (subs not used) Kovar, Fish, Wellens, Hoogewerf
Goals - Garner (41 min), Ramazani (68 min)
Norwich City (4-2-3-1) Mair; Thomas, Lomas, Famewo, Nizet; Milovanovic, Scully; Martin, Thorvaldsson, Adshead (Parsons 75); Ahadme (subs not used) Johnson, Jones, Omobamidele, Hondermarck
Goals - None