Barclays Premier League Under-18s
Manchester United vs. Manchester City
Venue: Aon Training Complex
Date: Wednesday, 17 February 2016
Kick-off: 13:00 GMT
Manchester United came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw in the mini-derby, claiming a respectable point against neighbours Manchester City.
For large parts, City were the better side at the Aon Training Complex, with Lukas Nmecha giving them the lead as half-time approached.
Failing to build on their lead, United had a chance of hitting back, and they did so via Callum Whelan midway through the second half.
A quiet opening spell came to life with Nmecha’s thunderous effort crashing against the bar via a faint fingertip of Oliver Byrne.
Involved again, Byrne turned away Brahim Diaz’s shot before palming over a powerful strike from Aaron Nemane as the City pressure grew.
After Zak Dearnley cleared the lines, DJ Buffonge chased the loose ball before finding Callum Gribbin, but his curled effort was comfortably held by Daniel Grimshaw.
Just as United had posed a threat via that chance, City took the lead, with Will Patching dispossessing Charlie Scott, which allowed Nmecha to race clear and curl a left-footed finish past Byrne, and that’s the way it remained until half-time.
Relentless probing from the visitors after the break saw Rodney Kongolo’s shot saved before a low from cross from Diaz found Nmecha, whose back-heel struck the post.
Nemane fired over, Patching had a shot held, then at the other end, United drew level against the run of play.
Buffonge found Dearnley who set the onrushing Tyrell Warren, but as Grimshaw left his line to smother from the United captain, the ball from kindly to Whelan, who was able to stroke a finish into the vacant net.
A City breakaway saw Nemane’s low cross fall to Nmecha, but his certain tap in was saved behind by the leg of Byrne.
The contest became stretched, with Nmecha firing over as Dearnley saw a shot held at the opposite end.
That brought about the end of the game, with United certainly the happier of the two given that City are top and haven’t dropped a point since November and the fact that they were trailing.
A number of missed opportunities gifted the hosts a way back into the game, with four points from a possible six accumulated since Tommy Martin took caretaker charge for United.
Up next is another home tie, this time against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, with an 11am kick-off at the Aon Training Complex.
Manchester United: Byrne; Reid, Warren, Dunne, Kenyon (Barlow 65); Scott, Whelan; Dearnley, Gribbin (Tanner 82), Kehinde; Buffonge (Sang 65).
Subs: Diedrick-Roberts, Moutha-Sebtaoui, Sang, Tanner, Barlow.
Manager: Tommy Martin
Manchester City: Grimshaw; Duhaney, Oliver, Kigbu, Sarmiento; Patching (Wood 90), Kongolo, Davenport; Nemane, Nmecha, Diaz.
Subs: Bullock, Albinson, Wood, Fernandes, Campbell.
Manager: Jason Wilcox