After a draw and a loss for United against City in the past week at U23s and first team levels it was the U18s turn to face the local rivals at the City Academy Stadium. City took the lead halfway through the first half through Luke Bolton. Phil Foden wrapped up the game in the second half as United attempted to regroup having gone down to ten men.
United came into the game on the back of scoring 5 goals in each of the last three matches, while City were on an unbeaten run so far this season. RoShaun Williams returned to action following a lengthy absence due to injury pairing up with Lee O’Connor in central defence for the first time.
The game started in a fairly balanced manner with Phil Foden and George Tanner having early efforts for both sides. Williams was booked with just over a quarter of an hour on the clock for a challenge on Jadon Sancho. Sancho took the freekick and went for goal but Ilias Moutha-Sebtaoui saved the effort.
Sancho was a threat for City throughout the game and it was his run and pass which set up Luke Bolton for a tap in at the back post. Jake Kenyon will be disappointed with himself for not tracking back and marking the goalscorer.
Lorenzo Jose Gonzalez took on a shot which went straight at Moutha-Sebtaoui. However, the keeper couldn’t keep hold of it and the ball bounced around in the area. Williams passed the ball back to the keeper who picked it up inside the box. An indirect freekick was given and United players lined up across the face of goal before blocking and clearing the ball.
United’s best chance of the half came not long before the break. Indy Boonen was fouled but the referee played advantage. Jake Kenyon picked up the ball on the right wing and crossed into the box. Tahith Chong was there but hit his effort into the ground. While Arijanet Muric had to make the save the sting had been taken out of the shot.
City again had the better of the chances in the second half. A deflection off William’s foot sent a shot from Foden over the crossbar. Ash Kigbu blocked another City attempt at the wrong end of the pitch. Lee O’Connor had to be alert on several occasions to cut out dangerous attacks from City.
A little scuffle broke out after a challenge from Poveda-Ocampo on Williams. Both players grabbed the throats of the other and their teammates came rushing in to break it up. The referee, perhaps conscious of Williams’ earlier booking, felt that talking to both players would be sufficient to cool tempers.
However, barely ten minutes later the two sides clashed again. Moutha-Sebtaoui came rushing out of the box to close down City substitute Joe Hardy. The goalkeeper clattered into the player. Sancho was unhappy with this and appeared to say something to Moutha-Sebtaoui his reaction to this prompted a minor brawl. Moutha-Sebtaoui was sent off, while Sancho was yellow carded. The City goalkeeper, Muric was also booked after he ran half the length of the pitch to become involved.
DJ Buffonge was the player who had to make way for a replacement goalkeeper to come on. Max Johnstone, younger brother of Sam, came on. While United were trying to regroup from the sending off, City took advantage. Tomiwa Dele-Bashiru worked the ball through to Foden who cut inside and saw his shot deflected past Johnstone into the net.
Angel Gomes had a late attempt for a consolation goal but Muric was on hand to save as City held on for a 2-0 victory. The loss is the first of Kieran McKenna’s reign as u18 manager. United’s next game will take place at home against Stoke City next Saturday.
Man United: Moutha-Sebtaoui, Tanner, O’Connor, Williams (c), Kenyon, Chong, Whelan, Buffonge (M. Johnstone 77′), Gomes, Boonen (Diedrick-Roberts 80′), Burkart (Bohui 68′).
Unused Substitutes: M. Johnstone, Barrett, Makela, Diedrick-Roberts.
Booking(s): Williams (16′).
Sent Off: Moutha-Sebtaoui (76′)
Man of the Match: Lee O’Connor.
Man City: Muric, Rosler, Latibeaudiere (c), Kigbu, Francis, Davenport, Bolton (Poveda-Ocampo 46′), Dele-Bashiru, Gonzales (Hardy 66′), Foden, Sancho (Pozo La Rosa 89′).
Unused Substitutes: Sokol, Richards.
Goal(s): Bolton (23′), Foden (79′).
Booking(s): Sancho (77′), Muric (77′), Davenport (83′).