Barclays Premier League 2 Division One
Manchester City vs. Manchester United
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Date: Friday, 9 September 2016
Kick-off: 19:00 BST
Ahead of the first team’s meeting on Saturday lunchtime, Manchester United drew 1-1 against Manchester City at Reserve team level.
United led through Matty Willock, but Brahim Diaz levelled proceedings midway through the second half.
It was probably a fair result, in the first of three meetings across three age groups within the next eight days.
After a mistake by Regan Poole early on, Rodney Kongolo was in on goal, but placed an effort over the bar, with Lukas Nmecha’s attempt deflecting wide.
Left-back Marcus Wood forced Kieran O’Hara to palm away a powerful strike from the angle, as Paolo Fernandes cut inside and fired just over.
In a rare attack, Willock picked up the ball, weaved past the surrounding blue shirts, and placed a weaker foot finish into the bottom left-hand corner.
Josh Harrop struck a free-kick into the wall before half-time arrived at the Etihad Stadium.
The second period began with Javairo Dilrosun slicing a shot wide, as substitute Diaz hit a low free-kick wide without troubling.
As Demetri Mitchell’s left foot curler was palmed away by Billy O’Brien, Diaz put away his shot of the same nature moments later, to draw City level.
As the rain lashed down on a typical Manchester evening, Dilrosun’s powerful strike from distance was beaten away by O’Hara, as Scott McTominay fired wide in response at the other end.
Aiming to test the bouncing ball against the slippery surface, O’Hara did well to grasp Jacob Davenport’s free-kick with a second free-kick via Dilrosun deflecting wide.
In the fifth minute of stoppage time, the ball dropped kindly to Diaz, but O’Hara spread himself big to deny Diaz what seemed a certain last gasp winner.
Despite City seeing more of the ball and creating more chances, Warren Joyce must feel his side deserved this point for a determined display.
They worked hard, defended well and it is just a shame they could not hold onto the lead.
United welcome Spanish outfit Villarreal to Leigh Sports Village on Tuesday in the opening group game of their Premier League International Cup tournament.
Their next league encounter sees Derby County arrive at Old Trafford a week on Monday.
Manchester United: O’Hara, El Fitouri, Tuanzebe, Poole, Riley; McTominay (Dunne 90+4); Scott (Buffonge 70), Redmond, Willock, Harrop; Mitchell (Hamilton 65).
Subs not used: Doughty, Moutha-Sebtaoui
Manager: Warren Joyce
Manchester City: O’Brien; Horsfield, Humphreys-Grant, Oliver (Duhaney 46), Wood (Davenport 75); Diallo, Kongolo, Fernandes (Diaz 37); Buckley-Ricketts, Nmecha, Dilrosun.
Subs not used: Grimshaw, Sarimento.
Manager: Simon Davies