Manchester United kicked off the Under-18s Barclays’ Premier League campaign against local rivals Bolton Wanderers at the Aon Training Complex.
Unfortunately, the game ended in a disappointing goalless draw and can probably be chalked up as two points dropped than one point gained.
United dominated the first half and created chances but were hampered due to the lack of an out and out striker, at times there weren’t enough players getting into the box.
Demetri Mitchell was the biggest threat. He should have been awarded a penalty in the opening minutes and also had a few more efforts, the best of which was an early close range shot which hit the crossbar. Another excellent opportunity came when Jääskeläinen failed to claim the ball but a Bolton defender managed to clear Mitchell’s shot before it crossed the line.
Fullbacks Oscar Borg and Joe Riley were bright sparks patrolling up and down their flanks while Cameron Borthwick-Jackson did well in a midfield role. The second half started similarly to the first when another penalty claim from Mitchell was waved away and following that, United dominated but still struggled to break down the Bolton defence.
Mitchell continued to test Jääskeläinen. With around ten minutes remaining, he turned and shot only to see the Bolton keeper save his effort. A chance came in the final minute when Borg put in a decent cross but it wasn’t met by a United player and the final whistle blew.
Although a frustrating result, it was quite an entertaining performance and as the young lads settle into the Under-18s level. Next up for the Reds is an away trip to Newcastle on 23 August.
Manchester United: Henderson, Riley, Tuanzebe (c), Williams, Borg (trialist), Gribbin, McTominay, Borthwick-Jackson, Thompson, Dearnley Mitchell.
Unused Substitutes: Dorrington, Rathbone, Johnson, Warren.
Man of the Match: Oscar Borg.