Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Milk Cup: Manchester United too sharp for Blades

Manchester United made their own little bit of history on two counts as they retained the Premier Section of the Milk Cup last night in Coleraine.

They recorded a 2-1 victory over Sheffield United to become the only club to win back-to-back Premier titles.

It now leaves them on four trophies overall, which is again unsurpassed at that level in the Milk Cup’s 27 year history.

United boss Paul McGuiness said: “It’s a really good achievement and quite a lot of the boys can come back next year, so maybe they can make it three in a row.”

The young Red Devils had started the week on fire in the group stages, but required a penalty shoot-out to progress past Desportivo Brasil, before edging past 10-men Fenerbahce with a late strike from top scorer Robert Brady in Thursday’s semi-final.

Last night’s game was a tight affair at the Showgrounds, with Sheffield United pushing the Old Trafford stars, but the young Red Devils certainly deserved their win in the end.

It was the Blades who threatened first in the game when midfielder Shane Murray turned and fired a warning effort across the face of Sam Johnstone’s goal.

However, they fell behind when fine work from Brady allowed him to feed Michael Ngoo, who slid the ball home for his second goal of the tournament.

Ngoo then wasted a glorious chance to double his and his side’s tally when he received a delightful chipped throughball from William Keane, but fluffed his lines in front of goal.

United wrapped up proceedings in the second half with a goal from Norwegian midfielder Etzaz Hussain after some slick football on 52 minutes.

Scorer of the first goal Ngoo took the ball to the byline before delivering a clever flick into the path of Hussain to slide past goalkeeper Andrew.

Tempers threatened to boil over after a tackle from Ryan Tunnicliffe on Elliott Whitehouse earned the United midfielder a yellow card.

Sheffield grabbed a deserved consolation when he poked the ball home from inside the six yard box, a minute into stoppage time.

The win for Manchester United also completed a clean sweep for the competition with last year's winners all returning to defend their trophies as Everton, Northern Ireland and United all reigning once more.

PREMIER RESULTS: Milk Cup final: Manchester United 2 Sheffield United 1.

Slemish final: Co Antrim 1 Co Londonderry 2.

Dunluce Trophy League: Cantolao 0 Co Fermanagh 2, Burnley 1 Co Tyrone 2.

Slemish play-offs: Cruz Azul 0 Trudovye Rezervy 0 (Trudovye win 4-3 on penalties), Otago 1 Watford 3, Co Armagh 1 Shamrock Rovers 2.

Milk Cup play-offs: Co Down 0 Desportivo Brasil 3, Cherry Orchard 1 South Coast Bayern 1 (Cheery Orchard win 4-3 on penalties), Fenerbahce 1 FC Porto 0.

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