Manchester United icon Cristiano Ronaldo helped inspire their FA Youth Cup win over Nottingham Forest by sending a video message to the players ahead of their 3-1 win against the Reds.
The former Real Madrid star helped motivate the next generation of talent with a recorded message that was shown in the dressing room prior to kick-off at Old Trafford.
It seemed to do the trick as United ran out winners although there was a huge amount of controversy surrounding their second goal when Zach Abbott fouled Alejandro Garnacho that resulted in a penalty despite replays showing the incident occurred outside the area.
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The score was 1-1 at that stage after Warren Joyce’s side had fought back to level through Josh Powell but Garnacho put United 2-1 in front as he scored from the spot.
Garnacho then made it 3-1 in stoppage time in front of a crowd of nearly 70,000 which was a record for the competition with Sir Alex Ferguson among the stars in the stands.
But despite United securing their first FA Youth Cup win in more than a decade, the young Reds did Forest proud on the night although boss Joyce was scathing over the penalty decision.
“Individual errors cost us. We’re disappointed with the second one, because clearly he’s two yards outside of the box, and it was a crucial stage of the game,” said Joyce.
“Mistakes by our players, yes. But it’s not a penalty. In big games like this, it’s hard for the lads to take when they look back on that, at a time when the game could have gone either way. We’d had a couple of good chances at the other end, and were maybe unfortunate not to take the lead.
“It’s a poor mistake from us. You could say it’s a booking, or even a sending off. But it’s definitely not a penalty. In this day and age as well, when there’s all the technology available, I think it’s poor that in a final like this, it can scar lads for a long time.
“It’s not even closed. It’s not like a hard decision. You’re looking along the line, the referee is close by and the linesman is looking straight along it – and there’s a line there.
“It’s not like one of the marginal ones, where you look with VAR and you’re looking an inch here or there. It’s blatant.
“That was frustrating. But the first goal was a mistake, and the second goal we’ve gifted them. They have got some excellent players, but they’ve not carved us open. The third goal makes it a bigger margin than it was.”
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