Man Utd 2
W. Keane 26mins, Giverin 93mins
- Match reports
- Thu 17 May 2012, 9:00PM
- Posted by Mark Booth
City’s hopes of sealing a second piece of silverware in four days were dashed after goals from Will Keane and Luke Giverin saw Manchester United retain the Manchester Senior Cup at the Etihad Stadium.
Patrick Vieira was in the stands to see if City could stage a repeat of the EDS’ 4-2 victory in their last meeting but it was Manchester United who walked away with the trophy despite a late rally from the home side.
It was the first match to be played at the Etihad Stadium since Sunday’s drama and, because of this, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the game took a while to get going.
City’s best effort of the night came on 15 minutes courtesy of the impressive Denis Suarez, who combined with Omar Elabdellaoui to great effect, only for his effort to whistle inches over the bar.
United broke the deadlock after 26 minutes with a powerful strike from Will Keane who was played in behind the City defence from a neat flick by Davide Petrucci.
EDS manager Andy Welsh had clearly briefed his midfield to exchange positions in an attempt to unsettle United. Gai Assulin, Denis Suarez and Omar Elabdellaoui were fluid, switching wings and taking turns at functioning at the head of an advanced trident behind Luca Scapuzzi.
Assulin recently returned from a successful loan spell at Brighton and he showcased the full bouquet of his prodigious talents in the first half, dribbling into several dangerous positions but the Israeli was unable to find the decisive final ball.
Despite all of the movement and intricate passing behind Scapuzzi, City failed to work the ball behind a well-organised United defence, causing the Italian to spend long stretches of the first half isolated.
City’s full-backs Reece Wabara and Jeremy Helan shone after the break, with their marauding runs proving to be a constant source of menace to the United defence.
With time running out, United manager Warren Joyce looked to his bench for defensive reinforcements as City threw Karim Rekik and Reece Wabara forward but United always seemed to have a defender on hand to close down, block and win headers to repel City’s waves of attacks.
In the last 10 minutes, Helan’s lung-busting bursts down the left looked like the the Blues' most likely provider of another dramatic finale at the Etihad Stadium but it was United who doubled their lead with seconds remaining.
Substitute Luke Giverin broke clear to get on the end of a reverse pass from Will Keane to fire past Eirik Johansen as United capitalised on City's cavalry charge.
It was a disappointing end to the evening for the 5000 fans that congregated at the Etihad Stadium but there was still plenty of encouraging moments for Andy Welsh to reflect on going into the summer break.