Premier League 2
Manchester United vs. Manchester City
Venue: Leigh Sports Village
Kick-off: 19:00 GMT
Date: Monday, 9 January 2017
Manchester United suffered a derby day defeat at Reserve team level, losing 3-1 at home to Manchester City.
Regan Poole’s early dismissal altered the tide of the match, with Brahim Diaz opening the scoring after the interval before Sean Goss equalised.
Further strikes from Isaac Buckley-Ricketts and Paolo Fernandes secured three points for the away side at Leigh sports Village in a damaging defeat for Nicky Butt’s side.
It was a quiet start for a game of such magnitude, but that all changed 12 minutes in after Poole’s two-footed lunge deemed dangerous enough for the referee to award a straight red for the challenge.
These type of challenges have seemed quite prevalent over the past couple of months, and it was probably the correct decision despite the protests.
The lively Brahim Diaz cut inside from the right before his curled effort clipped the outside of the post, before seeing a close range shot saved by the left boot of Joel Pereira.
Pereira, recalled from his loan spell at Belenenses to accommodate Sam Johnstone’s temporary departure to Aston Villa, then denied Jadon Sancho at his near post, with half-time drawing to a close a timid period in terms of chances.
Not long after the restart, the lead was taken by the visitors.
A superb left-wing dribble from Paolo Fernandes, with a step over thrown in there also, saw him reach the byline, and his pull back allowed Diaz to strike home first time into the bottom corner.
With 10 men and no recognised striker, finding a way back seemed a big ask for United; but almost immediately they hit back.
Playing at left-back, Demetri Mitchell beat his man to provide a low cross in which Goss obliged to pass home a neat finish to level proceedings.
However, the bubble burst even sooner than the opening goal lasted moments later.
Another sparkling run from Diaz looked like ending in a finish only for Pereira to initial thwart events, yet Buckley-Ricketts arrived to compose himself and fire a low shot past the defending bodies on the line.
Goss saw a shot saved at his near post by Angus Gunn, as Fernandes struck the wall with a free-kick.
Fernandes did then find the net, dispossessing Matthew Olosunde before drilling a low finish into the far corner.
Both Josh Harrop and Matty Willock saw attempts fall just wide of Gunn’s right-hand post as the game petered out.
There was time for Sancho to strike the post before full-time arrived.
It was a fair result in the end with the extra man’s advantage telling, but United showed spirit and character in testing circumstances.
Up next is an eagerly anticipated trip to Anfield to take on rivals Liverpool next Monday, in a 7pm kick-off.
Manchester United Reserves: J. Pereira; Olosunde (Warren 82), Poole, Tuanzebe, Mitchell; Goss; Gribbin (el Fitouri 15), Redmond (Kehinde 76), Willock, Harrop; McTominay.
Subs not used: Scott, O’Hara.
Manager: Nicky Butt
Manchester City Reserves: Gunn; Duhaney, Adarabioyo, Humphreys, Oliver (Francis 68); Diallo (Smith 85), Diaz, Boadu (Patching 62); Buckley-Ricketts, Fernandes, Sancho.
Subs not used: Haug, Latibaeudiere.
Manager: Simon Davies