Record crowd as Manchester United draw with Shakhtar Donetsk at Leigh Sports Village (From Leigh Journal)
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Record crowd as Manchester United draw with Shakhtar Donetsk at Leigh Sports Village
12:03pm Tuesday 10th December 2013 in Sport
A RECORD crowd for a Manchester United game in the UEFA Youth League couldn’t roar the U19s to success last night as Shakhtar Donetsk held Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes’ side to a 1-1 draw at Leigh Sports Village.
Almost 2,000 people - including David Moyes and Phil Neville - were hoping that United would get the win they needed to progress to the knockout stages of the tournament. But in a scrappy game, it was Shakhtar who looked the more assured in the early stages - although United’s James Wilson was a constant threat to the Ukrainian side’s defence.
However, Butt’s young charges lacked composure in front of goal and, as they desperately probed for a breakthrough in the second half, they were hit with a sucker-punch goal from Olexander Zinchenko with just 13 minutes to go.
The game looked up at that stage, but to their immense credit United set up a grandstand finish with an 85th minute equaliser - Ashley Fletcher hooking in a Wilson cross. Yet United couldn’t fashion the clear-cut chance they needed in the remaining minutes, and a delighted Shakhtar squad celebrated qualification in front of a smattering of their supporters.
“You saw how much urgency there was in the last 15 minutes when we're fighting for the game,” Paul Scholes told manutd.com afterwards. “If we managed to start games that way, I think we'd be going through to the next round. When you're playing European football against these top teams, you have got to be ready right from the off. You cannot afford to do it in fits and starts.”
United: Gollini; Janko, McNair, McConnell, Evans; Harrop, Pearson (Fletcher 78), Goss (Byrne 59), A.Pereira, Rothwell; Wilson.
The next football match at Leigh Sports Village is on Monday December 16 when Blackburn Rovers take on Middlesbrough in the Barclays U21 Premier League.
Kick off is at 7pm and tickets are £4, £2 concs, with Blackburn Rovers season ticket holders going free. For more information go to leighsportsvillage.co.uk or call 01942 487830.
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