Barclays Premier League Under-18s
Manchester United vs. Liverpool
Venue: Aon Training Complex
Date: Saturday, 3 October 2015
Kick-off: 11:00 BST
Manchester United U18s lost 4-0 to arch rivals Liverpool on a misty day at the Aon Training Complex.
Goals from captain Trent Alexander-Arnold bookended the scoring, with Paulo Alves and Corey Whelan completing the rout.
United were very much in the game despite trailing 1-0, but three Liverpool goals in 15 second half minutes, accompanied by goalkeeper Ollie Byrne’s dismissal for two yellow cards saw the game run away from the United youngsters.
Marcus Rashford broke forward early on, and teed up the overlapping Timothy Fosu-Mensah, but his tame shot was held with ease by Shamal George.
Oviemuno Ejaria’s shot from range fell wide as Adam Phillips took on the spectacular, striking the ball from just inside United’s half, but Byrne was able to watch the effort over the bar.
Callum Gribbin found Tosin Kehinde who had acres of space to run into before playing in Zach Dearnley in the left-hand channel, with United’s number 11 cutting in-field and taking aim, and his attempt came off the inside of the post before the offside flag was raised as Rashford went to retrieve the loose ball.
Kehinde was then caught in possession from Byrne’s short goal-kick, with Benjamin Woodburn winning the ball before nodding down Alexander-Arnold’s dink back to him, and the Liverpool captain fired the ball past Byrne at his near post.
Phillips seemed to go down rather easily under the challenge of Fosu-Mensah, but the former’s resulting free-kick flew over the bar without troubling.
Byrne was booked for a foul on Woodburn just outside the area despite Axel Tuanzebe seemingly having the situation under control as the United keeper came rushing off his line, but Byrne atoned for his error, catching Phillips’ testing resulting free-kick.
Gribbin saw yellow for a foul on his fellow number 10 Alves, as the first half came to an end with United trailing.
After the break and Gribbin did well to set up Fosu-Mensah, but he opted against hitting it first time, taking a touch to set, before slicing his effort into the side netting.
A Phillips’ free-kick from the right was headed back across goal by Whelan, but Alexander-Arnold blazed over from close range.
Liam Coyle was booked for a foul on Kehinde, an inevitable booking which finally arrived after a serious of offences before Liverpool doubled their lead just after the hour mark.
Alves did well to turn Kehinde which allowed him room to get a shot away from distance, and the ball found its way into the bottom right-hand corner.
Rashford’s effort was blocked behind by Kane Lewis, with the short corner finding Charlie Scott, whose effort span well wide of the target.
Rashford then wasted a free-kick, firing his dipping effort over the bar, before crashing an effort against the post after racing onto Kehinde’s through ball and manoeuvring his way inside the penalty area.
Just as United looked like finding a way back into the game, Byrne came rushing off his line once more, bringing down substitute Yan Dhanda, and receiving his marching orders, picking up a second yellow card.
This meant that George Dorrington replaced Callum Whelan, and it was Liverpool’s Whelan who headed home Phillips’ resulting free-kick.
Before United had time to digest this horror scoreline, things became even worse, with Alexander-Arnold half-volleying Woodburn’s left-hand cross into the bottom corner.
Little happened in the remaining 10 minutes plus stoppage time, as United aimed to protect their damaged pride, with Liverpool happy to hold their lead as full-time arrived.
It was a fairly even first hour or so, but Liverpool made their advantage count after United went down to 10 men, and the visitors deserved their victory, with United seeming fatigued after their midweek Youth League fixture against Wolfsburg.
Three consecutive away trips are up next for Paul McGuinness’ side, travelling to Sunderland, Manchester City for a local derby, and Everton, before Newcastle United visit the Aon Training Complex on November 14.
A day to forget for the U18s but a learning curve nonetheless, but with nine fixtures remaining before the turn of the year, the games are coming thick and fast in order to amends this defeat.
Manchester United: Byrne; Warren, Tuanzebe, Williams, Scott; Fosu-Mensah, Kehinde; Whelan (Dorrington 77), Gribbin, Dearnley; Rashford.
Subs: Dunne, Dorrington, Kenyon, Boonen.
Manager: Paul McGuinness
Liverpool: George; Lewis, Parker, Whelan, Johnston; Phillips, Coyle (Dobie 82); Alexander-Arnold, Alves (Dhanda 69), Ejaria; Woodburn.
Subs: Owens, Wheeler, Dhanda, Dobie, Brimmer.
Manager: Neil Critchley