World Football

Barclays U21 Premier League 2016: Monday Results, Latest Table and Fixtures

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28:  Adnan Januzaj of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on February 28 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images
Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 29, 2016

In a week in which Manchester United's youth setup has drawn plenty of plaudits, the club's under-21 side moved to the top of the league on Monday, coming from behind to win 2-1 at Middlesbrough.  

That was after former league leaders Sunderland were beaten 1-0 by bottom side Leicester City, who moved up to 10th with their win; the Red Devils now find themselves two points clear of the Black Cats having played a game fewer. 

Chelsea also missed the chance to close ground at the top as they played out a stalemate with Southampton. In Division 2 a point for Arsenal against Wolverhampton Wanderers pushed them to within five points of table toppers Derby County with three games in hand on the Rams.

Here’s a look at how the standings are shaping up in the wake of this round of fixtures as well as a recap of how Monday’s action panned out.

Premier League Under-21 Results
Division 1
Middlesbrough U211-2Manchester United U21
Sunderland U210-1Leicester U21
Southampton U210-0Chelsea
Division 2
Arsenal U211-1Wolves U21
Blackburn U212-0Swansea City U21
Source: FlashScore.com
Premier League Under-21 Table
Division 1CLUBPWDLGFGAGDPTS
1Man Utd U2115121336132337
2Sunderland U2117112430121835
3Man City U21157352619724
4Everton U21146532318523
5Reading U21176472629-322
6Spurs U21165563334-120
7Chelsea U21135442420419
8Liverpool U21165381826-818
9Southampton U21164572332-917
10Leicester U21154381836-1815
11Middlesbrough U21143472222013
12Norwich U21153391836-1812
Division 2CLUBPWDLGFGAGDPTS
1Derby U2118113439221736
2Arsenal U211594230161431
3Aston Villa U21179442121031
4Stoke U21189182120128
5West Brom U21176832015526
6West Ham U21187472929025
7Fulham U21166462021-122
8Swansea U21156272117420
9Blackburn U21146262021-120
10Newcastle U21174582331-817
11Wolves U211825111829-1111
12Brighton U211716101131-209
Source: FlashScore.com

 

Monday Recap

A Manchester United XI containing Adnan Januzaj had to battle hard for victory in the north-east but eventually fought their way back from a goal down to beat Middlesbrough 2-1 and end the evening as league leaders.

After a goalless first period, it was the hosts who took the lead through Callum Cooke after a neat buildup down the right flank.

As noted by Jonathon Taylor of the Evening Gazette, it was a disappointing day overall for Januzaj, who was withdrawn after an hour:

Despite his absence, United came on strong late on and were given a brilliant opportunity to turn the game around. James Weir was hauled down in the box when through on goal, with Jonny Burn subsequently dismissed; Andreas Pereira finished cooly from 12 yards to level things up.

Pereira levelled things up for United from the penalty spot.
Pereira levelled things up for United from the penalty spot.Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

With 10 men, it was always going to be tough for Boro to hold out, and to compound a miserable end to the game, Nathan McGinley turned the ball into his own net with eight minutes remaining to give United a vital three points.

It was a win that saw them take top spot, with Sunderland beaten by a spirited Leicester side, who grabbed a vital three points thanks to a Jacob Blyth penalty.

As noted by James Hunter of the Chronicle, it was a game in which the Black Cats handed a trial to former Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue, although he was unable to help the team to victory:

Chelsea remain a long way off the pace after their draw with Southampton, trailing United by 18 points having played three games fewer than the league leaders.

Both sides could have won this one on the night, and with the clock ticking down, Tammy Abraham came closest for the Blues, watching on in anguish as his effort came back off the woodwork.

Abraham came closest to scoring for Chelsea.
Abraham came closest to scoring for Chelsea.Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

In Division 2, Arsenal edged past Aston Villa into second place and closer to Derby County at the top, although they'll be disappointed not to have taken all three points at Boreham Wood after a 1-1 draw against Wolves.

Donyell Malen gave the young Gunners the lead after 16 minutes in this one, surging past an opposing defender and placing a cool finish into the corner. It was a lead that would only last two minutes, though, with Tommy Rowe reacting quickest after a scramble in the box.

At the interval Arsenal youth team expert Jeorge Bird noted the visitors did have a strong team out and was impressed by the Gunners’ goalscorer:

Arsenal did press after the break and did create opportunities to win this one. But a more experienced Wolves side were able to hold firm and secure a point.

In the second tier's other match on Monday, Blackburn Rovers were too good for Swansea City, as they secured a 2-0 win. It's a result which moves Rovers level with their opponents and gives them breathing space in their attempts to steer clear of the bottom of the table.

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