Home ยป Academy Match Report: Manchester United u18s 1-5 Manchester City u18s

Academy Match Report: Manchester United u18s 1-5 Manchester City u18s

by Colm Murphy

With the first team set for battle against Manchester City tomorrow, the u18s were in action today with their own Manchester derby.

The young side were missing their manager on the day as Travis Binnion had recently tested positive for Covid. Stepping in to take charge was head of player development and coaching, Justin Cochrane.

Having an eye on Wednesday’s FA Youth Cup semi-final, United featured a much rotated side and a new three at the back formation.

The opening period started at full speed with United’s first chance coming in the 3rd minute as Omari Forson rippled the side netting from 20 yards.

A driving run from City through the centre of the park ended with a driven shot that whizzed past the left post and just wide.

But United went up the other end and took the lead in the 5th minute. After winning possession in midfield, the breaking ball landed to Joe Hugill who played a reverse pass to pick out Manni Norkett, running behind and the striker slotted home.

It was an instant response from City though as Carlos Borges dribbled down the left and fired a cross to the opposite winger, Adedire Mebude, who then found Nico O’Reilly for a tap in from four yards out.

After a blistering first 15 minutes, both sides looked to settle into the match.

City rattled the crossbar in the 26th as Josh Adam’s shot was deflected by Sonny Aljofree before hitting the woodwork and going out.

The visitors took the lead in the 30th minute as they got in behind down the right and squared for O’Reilly but Willy Kambwala could only poke away to the onwatching Borges, who smashed into the back of the net.

Up at the other end, Hugill played a through ball to Forson on the left of the area. The midfielder shot from a wide angle which forced a good save from the keeper with his foot.

United were almost gifted a route back into the match when City’s short goal kick led to their defender’s pass being cannoned off of Norkett’s chest only six yards out but the keeper was ready to pounce on the breaking ball.

It was a bad ending to the half as a long diagonal ball found Mebude on the right and his cross was dealt with poorly by Aljofree, who tried to clear with the wrong foot, resulting in the ball perfectly falling to Borges for an easy finish.

The second half saw City continue on the front foot and almost got a fourth when Louis Jackson’s clearance was blocked and ricocheted over Tom Wooster onto the roof of the net.

Kobbie Mainoo and Dan Gore were soon introduced to the match and United saw a switch to a more traditional back four after City had joy exploiting the space on the wings in the first half.

Borges was inches away from his hat-trick in the 65th as he smashed the left post after being free in the box after United lost possession.

Sam Mather later came off the bench to make an immediate impact as his dribbling caused problems down the left and led to a prolonged period of possession for United. But it ultimately came to nothing as Norkett’s cross was overhit and went out for a goal kick.

City made it four when Borges got in behind Jackson and found the open Kian Breckin, who lost the marking Kambwala. Wooster made a great save on the first attempt but couldn’t stop Breckin’s follow up effort.

Borges’ display was capped off with a much deserved hat-trick late in the match when he squared up to Jackson and beat him for pace before slotting it under Wooster to make it 1-5.

City pounded on the door for a sixth but some big saves from Wooster kept it at five.

To round off a poor day, United’s skipper Aljofree was sent off in the dying minutes for a second yellow after frustratingly kicking out at a City player.

Focus moves now to Wednesday, when United will host Wolves at Old Trafford in the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup, free to attend for all supporters.

United: Wooster, Kambwala, Aljofree, Jackson, Ennis (Gore 58), Murray (Mather 68), Hansen-Aaroen, Oyedele, Forson, Hugill (Mainoo 58), Norkett

Unused subs: Hanbury, Ogunneye

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