Premier League 2
Liverpool vs. Manchester United
Date: Monday, 16 January 2017
Kick-off: 19:00 GMT
Manchester United produced a last minute winner to see off arch rivals Liverpool at Reserve team level.
It was Matty Willock’s added time header that secured the win, in a second half that completely differed from the first.
Early in the second period, Sean Goss had seen a penalty saved, but atoned for his error by whipping in the delivery for the jubilant winner.
The first half saw very little action, with both sides seemingly feeling each other out and being cautious about the ambitious.
Sam Hart was off target for the hosts but both goalkeepers may as well have remained in the changing room with nothing to do.
After the break, Goss was booked for a cynical shirt-pull as Brooks Lennon’s shot was held by Joel Pereira.
Pereira then suffered a nasty injury after a clash with Nathan Phillips before saving from Matthew Virtue, the first shot on target of the contest.
In their first real opening, a swift United counter led to Callum Gribbin’s strike at goal, but he could only fire straight at Shamal George in the Liverpool goal.
Gribbin’s run then saw him brought down by Kane Lewis and yet only a yellow card awarded when a red when have been warranted, but George guessed correctly and denied Goss from 12 yards to his left.
Axel Tuanzebe’s leggy run on the left ending with substitute DJ Buffonge having a shot blocked, with the former’s header from the resulting corner cleared.
As the match seemed destined for a draw, a moment of quality arrived in the form of the man who missed the penalty, as Goss’ left-wing free-kick was headed by Willock in the third minute of stoppage time.
With dead ball quality seemingly lacking at first time level, what a way to win a fixture of such magnitude.
The character of this group continues to impress under Nicky Butt, with this a huge victory.
Up next is another duel with a Merseyside club, as Everton will be welcomed in two weeks time.
Manchester United Reserves: J. Pereira; Riley (Kehinde 85), Tuanzebe, Poole, Mitchell; Goss; Gribbin (Buffonge 85), Redmond (Olosunde 56), Willock, Harrop; McTominay.
Subs not used: O’Hara, Scott.
Liverpool Reserves: George; Whelan, Hart, N. Phillips, Brewitt, Williams (Brummer 46), Lennon, Virtue, Dunn (T Gomes 84), Alves (K. Lewis 46), M Gomes.
Subs not used: Kelleher.
Manager: Mike Garrity