Originally published for Pride of All Europe on 8/4/2014. Below is the original unsubbed copy. Please see link for subbed version.
Jonny Evans returned to action as Manchester United’s under 21 side ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
The centre back, who has been out of action for over two months with a calf injury, played for over an hour as the young Reds side recorded their first win in four games to keep their end of season play-off hopes alive.
First half goals from James Wilson and Joe Rothwell put the hosts in front, before Saidy Janko sealed the three points early in the second half.
United enjoyed most of the possession in the first half, and were nearly ahead after just three minutes when a mistake from Villa keeper Bradley Watkins gave Janko a chance to score, but the angle was too tight for the Swiss youngster to capitalise.
Janko did, however, have a hand in the opening goal for the Reds. After some good work on the right wing the ball broke for James Wilson, who hit a superb left-footed drive from 25 yards out which flew into the top corner.
With David Moyes and his coaching staff watching on, the strike will have raised Wilson’s credentials for first-team action, after he was an unused substitute in the 4-0 victory over Newcastle at the weekend.
United then dealt Villa a sucker-punch just four minutes later, with Joe Rothwell firing a low shot from inside the area to double the Reds’ lead and put them in complete control.
Villa were shell-shocked and it was very nearly 3-0, but Wilson’s effort was cleared off the line after he rounded Watkins.
The visitors managed one or two half chances, with Callum Robinson firing wide of Ben Amos’ goal, but it was United who killed the game off early in the second half thanks to Janko’s powerful strike from a seemingly difficult angle which rifled its way into the roof of the net.
Robinson had a glorious chance to pull one back for the visitors late on, but he glanced his header over an open goal from just six yards out.
Full Time: Manchester United U21 3-0 Aston Villa U21
Manchester United line-up:
Amos (GK), Varela, James, Pearson, McNair, Evans (Love 65), Janko, Rothwell, Wilson (Rowley 78), Pereira, Ekangamene (Rudge 82)
Subs not used: Gollini (GK), Harrop
Aston Villa line-up:
Watkins (GK), Leggett, Wildin (Abdo 59), Stieber, Donacien, Webb, Graham, Burke, Robinson, Johnson, Nehemie
Subs not used: Hill (GK), O’Brien, McKirdy, Strain