Manchester United’s u18s hosted Blackburn Rovers last night at Moss Lane in a fixture which could see them leapfrog the opposition with a victory into third place in the league.
United started hot out the gates with Alejandro Garnacho tearing down the left and working the ball across the edge of the box for it to end with Manni Norkett to strike low but it was saved out for a corner.
In the 8th minute, Kobbie Mainoo got to the byline on the left and his cutback bounced off a Blackburn defender towards the goal but the keeper’s quick reactions were able to tip the ball around the post.
A minute later, Habeeb Ogunneye’s sailed too close to the keeper and looked like a routine catch but the Blackburn man made a meal of it as he dropped the ball and it bounced into the net to give United the lead.
It was all United in the opening 15 minutes and Mainoo looked to add a second when he went on a mazy run into the box with great strength holding off the defenders before laying it off to Norkett but he couldn’t beat the keeper from a wide-angle.
Blackburn drew one back in the 18th minute as their left winger got to the byline and cut back for a side-foot finish from Leonard Duru.
Garnacho looked to immediately respond racing down the left and cutting in before unleashing a strike into the top right corner which was only stopped by an incredibly strong hand from the keeper.
In the 20th minute, Dan Gore slid Omari Forson in down the right and the United midfielder looked to dink the keeper who was caught in no man’s land but an outstretched fingertip sent the ball narrowly wide.
The electrifying pace of the match died down in the latter stages of the half and the score remained 1-1 going into the break.
Early in the second half United put the ball into the back of the net as Sam Murray was played in behind down the left and he squared to Norkett to tap in but the ref’s whistle was quick to blow for offside.
Later in the half substitute, James Nolan crossed to the front post for Norkett to flick on but it flashed across the goal and wide.
In the 81st minute it was another disaster from the keeper but this time it was United’s, Radek Vitek. A chipped cross in from the left should have been easily gathering but Vitek took his eye off the ball and fumbled it through his fingertips and into the goal.
Minutes later Gore burst through two Blackburn defenders and went down on the touch of contact to win a penalty. Forson stepped up and slotted into the bottom right corner to equalise.
The final whistle blew shortly after with the final score 2-2, leaving United in 5th place just the one point behind Blackburn in 3rd.
Due to several cancellations earlier in the season, the u18s are back in action in under 24 hours as they take on Wolves at a lunchtime kick-off on Wednesday.
United: Vitek, Ogunneye (Nolan 61), Bennett, Jackson, Murray, Mainoo, Gore, Forson, Hugill, Garnacho (Berry 61), Norkett
Unused subs: Wooster, Williams, Curley