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Academy Match Report: Manchester United u18s 4-0 Leeds United u18s

by Colm Murphy

Manchester United u18s took on Leeds United at Carrington on Saturday morning as they looked to continue their perfect record in the league.

With a U21s match on the same day, Adam Lawrence’s side saw nine changes from last week’s victory over Manchester City.

Leeds came out quickly in the match with intense pressing high up the pitch, leaving in a number of strong challenges including one on Harry Amass that left the defender down within the first minute.

But Manchester United’s quality began to shine through as they easily evaded pressure and adjusted to their own tempo.

It was United’s own pressing which created the opening goal in the 13th minute. Gabriele Biancheri’s effort forced the turnover before he cut in from the left wing and slotted past the keeper with impressive composure.

Three minutes later United doubled the lead through Bendito Mantato who celebrated his 16th birthday this week. Keeper Tom Myles launched the attack with a pinpoint distribution to Amass barrelling down the left wing before the left back crossed to Mantato to apply the finish at the back post.

Mantato then turned supplier as United made it three. Zach Baumann played Mantato down the right side before following up for the return pass inside the area to finish from just eight yards out.

In the 41st minute, United almost added a fourth when Ethan Williams’ cross was headed down by Mantato at the back post for Jayce Fitzgerald to shoot. The midfielder’s shot was blocked straight back to Mantato who was denied from close range by a sensation sprawling save.

But it didn’t take long for United the secure the fourth as Williams hit the net just before the halftime whistle. Reece Munro started the attack from the back before Mantato shrugged off his marker to race into the box and lay off to Williams to strike into the bottom left corner.

Composure was the stand-out quality on show on the day as United went into the break up 4-0. Despite Leeds looking to leave their mark in the challenge they struggled to get near the United players who passed it around with ease as they slowed down and upped the tempo at will.

United’s dominance continued in the second half but surprisingly couldn’t add to their tally despite a number of chances.

Introductions from the bench included the highly touted 15-year-old Amir Ibragimov and trialist Mason Cotcher.

The two almost linked up for a fifth goal when Ibragimov dribbled inside from the right and played Cotcher into the box but the trialist’s shot was blocked.

The match ultimately remained locked at 4-0 as United continued their perfect league record with 13 wins in 13 to extend their lead at the top of the table. A tough test awaits on Tuesday night, however, as United host 3rd place Liverpool.

United: Myles, Kamason, Munro, Kingdon, Amass, Devaney (McAllister 62), Fitzgerald (Ibragimov 62), Mantato (Cotcher 62), Baumann, Williams, Biancheri

Unused subs: Byrne-Hughes, Mills

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