Bragging rights went to Manchester United’s U18s following a 5-2 demolishing of Manchester City’s academy side at the Aon Training Complex. It is the U18s first league victory in the derby since February 2011. Having gone behind early in the game the Reds played their way back into it and sealed the victory with goals from Devonte Redmond, Ethan Hamilton, Ro-Shaun Williams, Marcus Rashford and substitute Zach Dearnley.
City started brightly and put pressure on United in the early stages. That paid off as the Sky Blues took the lead after just ten minutes. Dean Henderson had done well coming out and making a challenge following a short back-pass from Williams. The ball came out and was finished long-range by Faour. However, United reacted well to the early set back and played their way back into the game and 15 minutes later scored the equaliser. Joe Riley‘s shot had beaten the City goalkeeper at the near post but the woodwork blocked his shot. The ball rebounded out to Redmond whose finish found the back of the net.
That goal was Redmond’s first goal of the season. Ethan Hamilton, making his first start for the u18s, also claimed his first goal of the season. Charlie Scott found Tyler Reid with a great ball. Reid sent in hard ball which was curling towards goal but Hamilton ensured that the ball crossed over the line. Some doubt surrounds whether the ball had already crossed the goal-line but in the absence of goal-line technology and a dubious goals panel at this level, it will be claimed by Hamilton.
Henderson gave his best performance of the season so far making several crucial saves and preventing shots through good goalkeeping. Before half time he got down well to make one save and when the ball wasn’t cleared properly he was on hand to tip it over the crossbar. Just after the restart Williams scored United’s third goal. Riley found Williams from a corner, his first effort with his right foot was blocked by Timothy Fosu-Mensah but ball came back to him and he finished with his left foot.
Kongolo reduced City’s deficit with a goal from the edge of the penalty area. However, on the hour mark Marcus Rashford got on the end of a Henderson goalkick and finished well having been one-on-one with the City keeper. That goal is Rashford’s 6th of the season in the Barclays u18 Premier League.
Challenges were flying in from City which saw Hamilton and Fosu-Mensah pick up knocks. They were replaced at different stages by Zach Dearnley and Ruairí Croskery respectively. Dearnley scored with almost his first touch. Fosu-Mensah found him with a dinked ball over the keeper and Dearnley finished neatly from a tight angle.
It was a very good performance from the u18s, especially to show the character to comeback from an early goal. Charlie Scott, playing in the midfield, put in an excellent performance in an unfamiliar position and Joe Riley would challenge the Energiser Bunny for fitness levels. The usually solid defensive unit looked a bit shakier than usual, however Tyler Reid is growing in the right back position with every game he plays.
Manchester United: Henderson, Reid, Tuanzebe (c), Williams, Borthwick-Jackson, Riley, Scott, Fosu-Mensah (Croskery 90′), Hamilton (Dearnley 85′), Redmond, Rashford
Unused Substitutes: Byrne, Rathbone, Gribbin
Goals: Redmond, Hamilton, Williams, Rashford, Dearnley
Bookings: Fosu-Mensah, Redmond