By Bryan Waters.
Manchester United U18s overcame a tough fixture against Reading with a 1-0 victory at Carrington.
Paul McGuinness’ side were looking to continue from their positive point away at Chelsea last weekend and made a goalkeeping change with Pierluigi Gollini replacing Jonny Sutherland. That decision proved effective as Gollini made a series of fantastic saves to keep a clean sheet for United.
The solitary goal of the game came from Andreas Pereira, who recently signed his professional contract with United. The Belgium youth international, who joined from PSV Eindhoven, slotted the ball home coolly after eight minutes.
As a whole, the game was very open with chances created for both sides and with 10 minutes to go in the second half, United should have been 2 up. Patrick McNair missed a certain opportunity and United led at the break, thanks mostly to the hands of Gollini in goal.
Ben Pearson mopped up well in midfield as Reading looked to grab an equaliser, but Gollini never looked like he would be beaten in the United goal. McGuinness’ side saw the game out, with Kenji Gorre replacing Josh Harrop with 15 minutes to go, and the hard-fought victory will give confidence to the United players.
Man of the Match: Pierluigi Gollini – The former Fiorentina goalkeeper made three or four top saves to deny Reading and keep a clean sheet for United. Gollini is making a claim for himself as the first-choice U18s goalkeeper ahead of Jonny Sutherland.
United starting XI: Gollini, Love, Grimshaw, McNair, Evans; Weir, Pearson, Rudge, Harrop (Gorre 75); Pereira, Barmby.
Subs unused: Sutherland, Barber, Ioannou, Fletcher.
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