After Manchester United’s recent failure in the FA Cup, the u18s took to Old Trafford to fight for their own glory in the FA Youth Cup hosting Everton.
The sides traded blows to open the match, first with Everton’s Stanley Mills, who broke down the right with pace and forced a great save from Radek Vitek.
United countered up the other way and Alejandro Garnacho was found in the box but a scuffed effort fell tamely into the keeper’s arms.
Everton would strike first in the 10th minute, strong hold up play by Martin Sherif allowed him to take in the long ball before laying off for Francis Okoronkwo to drill past Vitek.
United immediately replied, though, as Garnacho was played into the box by Charlie McNeill and the Spaniard was hacked down, winning the Reds a penalty.
McNeill stepped up with a long run up and smashed it into the bottom right corner.
McNeill almost doubled his tally in the 18th minute after United’s pressing forced the turnover in a dangerous area. Kobbie Mainoo intercepted before playing McNeill down the left but the striker’s effort few into the side netting.
A minute later Everton struck the crossbar from 18 yards out with a spectacular volley.
A towering header from Mainoo put United in the lead in the 27th minute. Clipped in by Marc Jurado, Mainoo was at the back post and climbed above the Everton defenders to head across goal and into the right corner.
The second half saw United taking more control but Sherif’s physicality continued to cause problems as he leaped up to win the header off a corner, but it bounced just wide of the post.
United banged at the door in the 64th minute with attempts from McNeill and Mainoo being blocked off the line, but Everton couldn’t keep it out forever as it fell to Sam Mather to stroke past the scrambling defenders and into the back of the net.
Garnacho sprung down the left shortly after and curled the ball past the keeper from a tight angle but the post denied him of a brilliant goal.
The chances kept coming for United and you would have bet on McNeill making it 4-1 in the 74th as he broke through clear on goal but uncharacteristically couldn’t find the corner and the keeper saved.
The match was sealed in the dying minutes with a well deserved goal for Garnacho. The man of the match sealed a fantastic performance with a remarkable 80 yard run from an Everton corner to calmly sit the keeper down before flicking the ball into the bottom left corner.
The victory advances United to the quarter finals where they will face off against Leicester City.
United: Vitek, Jurado, Fredricson, Bennett, Pye (Murray 61), Mainoo, Gore, Mather (Aljofree 82), Forson (Oyedele 71), Garnacho, McNeill
Unused subs: Wooster, Lawrence, Curley, Norkett