U18s Premier League
Manchester United vs. Manchester City
Venue: Aon Training Complex
Date: Saturday, 3 December 2016
Kick-off: 11:00 BST
Manchester United drew 2-2 with neighbours Manchester City in a pulsating derby that had a frantic ending.
Callum Gribbin scored on the stroke of half-time as he also missed a second half penalty.
Brahim Diaz equalised before DJ Buffonge looked as if he’d restored the three points in United’s favour, but Phil Foden bagged with less than seven minutes of normal time remaining to snatch a point for the visitors.
Heading into the game as the top two, Tom Dele-Bashiru struck the post early on, as Buffonge lashed a drive just over the bar at the other end.
Lukas Nmecha fluffed his lines and he was made to rue the missed chance as the hosts took the lead before the interval.
Picking up the ball from Buffonge, Gribbin collected a pass as his dummy allowed him to create space for himself, and curl a finish past Pawel Sokol on his right foot, the weaker of his two.
Despite the time, City nearly pegged their rivals back before the break, as Joel Latibeaudiere was off target from Edward Francis’ set piece.
Right-back George Tanner forced Sokol into a save, as Diaz tested Ilias Moutha-Sebtaoui at the other end in an open contest at the Aon Training Complex.
It was Diaz who fired against the woodwork after being played in by Jadon Sancho, as Sancho himself saw a shot turned away at his near post by Moutha-Sebtaoui, with Diaz again off target.
Despite the pressure applied by the away side, it was United who earned a penalty when Sokol brought down Joshua Bohui, but Gribbin placed his penalty over the bar in a chance to double the lead.
This proved costly when Diaz’s mazy run into the area ending with his poked finish to level proceedings.
Just the beginning of a back-and-forth finish, Buffonge nodded in Bohui’s cross to give Kieran McKenna’s side the lead for the second time.
Refusing to be defeated, Sancho’s wing-play saw the ball ricochet off of Moutha-Sebtaoui, as Foden was able to dink the rebound into the net.
The lively Sancho then slipped through Nmecha, but Moutha-Sebtaoui was on hand to deny the opportunity, as full-time brought to an end a fantastic advert for the U18 Premier League, just like the result of the same scoreline in the Reserve league on Monday night when United took on Reading.
Both teams were determined to get one over on their rival, but it was a fair result in the end as the two form teams ended with a share of the spoils.
Up next is the FA Youth Cup 3rd Round tie against Southampton at Old Trafford a week on Monday, before a trip to West Brom in two weeks, aiming for a repeat of the 5-3 victory secured against the Baggies earlier in the season.
Sub not used: Fojticek, Dunne.
Manager: Kieran McKenna
Manchester City U18s: Sokol; Smith, Latibeaudiere, Francis, Duhaney, Pozo, Foden, Dele-Bashiru, Nmecha, Diaz, Bolton.
Manager: Lee Carsley