Reigning champions start PLI Cup with a loss
Reigning champions start PLI Cup with a loss

The Villarreal U23s fell to Manchester United on their debut in this year’s competition (1-0)

The Villarreal combined U23s squad started off on the wrong foot in the Premier League International Cup after a narrow defeat to Manchester United U23s, in what was an evenly matched game played at the Leigh Sports Village ground. Kick-off was delayed due to an untimely power cut in the stadium, but as soon as the power came back the match could finally get underway.

The only goal of the game came after the first half an hour of play courtesy of Harrop. The Villarreal B team were not affected by the setback though and went in search of the equalizer in earnest. They came close on numerous occasions in the second half. Firstly it was Raba who tried a lovely lob that just missed (75th minute), while only a few seconds later Mario González hit the post.

It should be mentioned that the Yellows combined U23 side are the reigning champions of the competition, as last year they beat PSV Eindhoven in the Final. The Submarine expedition will catch a return flight to Valencia on Wednesday at 4:35pm, approximately. The Villarreal U23s next match in the Premier League International Cup will be against Middlesbrough U23s on Tuesday 11th October.

The Yellows match schedule in Group B is the following (Spain time):

  • Tuesday 13th September: Manchester United U23-Villarreal U23 (1-0).
  • Tuesday 11th October: Middlesbrough U23-Villarreal U23 (8pm, Middlesbrough Venue TBC).
  • Tuesday 13th December: Villarreal U23-Sparta Prague U23 (8pm, Neutral Venue TBC).


Manchester United U23: Johnstone, El Fitouri, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley, Scott, Redmond (Olosunde, m. 46), Willock (Mitchell, m. 93), McTominay, Harrop (Tosin, m. 80) and Hamilton.

Villarreal U23: Joan Femenías; Edgar Ié, Ramón, Juan ‘Ibiza’, Felipe (Peris, m. 46); Ramiro, Morlanes, Javi García (Carlos Martínez, m. 47), Raba; Mario and Lazo (Cantalapiedra, m. 65).

Goals: 1-0. Min. 31: Harrop.

Referee: Joseph Johnson.

Stadium: Leigh Sports Village.