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Man Utd U21 0-1 Villa U21: Graham spot on in Villa triumph

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Man Utd U21 0-1 Villa U21: Graham spot on in Villa triumph

By Dan Harrison at Moss Lane

Jordan Graham won and then converted a penalty to give Villa's young guns a morale-boosting victory over Manchester United.

The boys in claret and blue moved up to second in Group 2 of the Barclays U21 Premier League after an accomplished display against their United counterparts.

The visitors were good value for the three points, with Graham providing the match-winning moment in a solid all-round team performance.

Villa made three changes from last week's 2-1 victory over Sunderland with Josh Webb, Charlie Ward and Jack Grealish coming in for Daniel Devine, Andras Stieber and Marc Albrighton.

Versatile defender Webb made his first appearance of the campaign having been sidelined for four months with a hip injury.

United named an inexperienced side as a host of their U21 regulars travelled to Istanbul for the Champions League game against Galatasaray.

But the Red Devils fielded Chilean international Angelo Henriquez and Portuguese forward Bebe.

There were few opportunities in a tame first period, although both goalkeepers had to be on their guard.

Villa's Craig Hill followed up his man-of-the-match display against Sunderland with a couple of fine saves to deny Tom Lawrence.

Firstly, he dived to his left to keep out a thunderbolt left-foot shot from the United forward.

Then the teenage custodian got his body to another Lawrence effort after Henriquez played in his team-mate with a delightful back-heel.

Not to be outdone, United keeper Jonathan Sutherland made a finger-tip save to stop Michael Drennan's free-kick.

He also did well to hold on to a header from Jack Grealish.

Bebe was a threat for the home team but he dragged a left-foot shot into the side netting on the stroke of half-time after dribbling between two defenders.

Seven minutes into the second period, Graham produced the game's major moment of inspiration.

The England U17 winger embarked on a mazy run inside from the right before being tripped on the byline by Reece James.

Graham stepped up and coolly slotted past Sutherland, sending the keeper the wrong way.

The Villa wideman nearly had a second moments later after dispossessing Michele Fornasier on the edge of the box but Sutherland got down to make the save.

Jack Grealish was lively on the opposite flank and he struck a thunderous shot into the side-netting after working his way in from the left.

The only real second-half opportunity for United fell to Frederic Veseli, who volleyed over after Villa failed to clear a corner.

MAN UTD: Sutherland, Veseli, James, Ekagamene, McCullough, Fornasier, Bebe, Hendrie, Henriquez, Januzaj, Lawrence. Subs: Barmby [for Hendrie, 76], Gollini, Daehli [for Lawrence, 66], Grimshaw [for Ekangamene], Love.

VILLA: Hill, Barton, Webb, Ward, Donacien, Williams, Graham, Carruthers, Drennan, Burke, Grealish. Subs: Watkins-Clark [for Williams, 55], Barrett, Melvin [for Grealish, 90], Kinsella [for Webb, HT].

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 19th November 2012
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