Manchester United’s Under-18s suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to local rivals Manchester City this morning.
The Under-18s were without top scorer Ashley Fletcher who is still out with a knee injury and Josh Harrop who pulled up with a slight injury in the warm up. James Wilson also wasn’t available but with Will Keane, Federico Macheda, Tom Lawrence and Sam Byrne securing loans yesterday, it’s likely he’ll make the step up to the Under-21s on a more permanent basis.
City won the toss and elected to play with the strong wind at their backs. The wind appeared to seriously help them dominate the play in the first half as City went ahead early. Sean Goss passed back to Dean Henderson in the United goal and he attempted to kick the ball out but it went straight to City’s Thierry Ambrose who slotted home.
United struggled to get forward as they were running into a very strong wind. The defence did very well to limit a dominant City to a series of shots from distance which Henderson dealt with comfortably. With the score-line kept to a respectable 1-0, it was felt that United would have similar dominance in the second half as City did in the first.
However, City continued in the same manner in the second half. A lack of pressure from United meant that City retained comfortable possession. United made a double change bringing on Ruairi Croskery and Scott McTominay to replace Devante Redmond and Marcus Rashford. Croskery did well when he came on and put more pressure on City’s defence by closing down quickly.
United had more chances in the second half. Joe Riley‘s free-kick drew the first real save from City keeper Billy O’Brien and Nick Ioannou’s follow-up on the rebound only hit the side-netting. Croskery had a double chance after Ioannou picked out Demetri Mitchell with a lovely ball. Mitchell got the ball into the box but Croskery’s first shot was blocked and his second chance was blasted over.
There was a delay when Denzeil Boadu was stretchered off after a late challenge from Goss and the midfielder was lucky to escape with just a booking.
Overall, it was a poor performance from the young Reds who slip to their third straight league defeat in the Under-18 Premier League and it means United’s Under-21s and Under-18s lost to City within the space of a week.
Manchester United: Henderson, Callum Evans, Barber (Borthwick-Jackson 78′), McConnell, Ioannou, Willock, Goss, Riley, Mitchell, Redmond (McTominay 72′), Rashford (Croskery 72′). Unused subsititutes: Joel Pereira, Thompson.