Barclays Premier League Under-18s
Manchester United vs. Manchester City
Venue: Aon Training Complex
Date: Saturday, 17 January 2015
Kick-off: 11:00 GMT
Manchester United’s U18s routed their local rivals 5-2 in an enthralling derby game at the Aon Training Complex.
Making two changes from the Youth Cup win over Hull City in midweek, five different goalscorers gave United a dream league start for 2015.
Devonte Redmond, Ethan Hamilton, RoShaun Williams, Marcus Rashford and Zak Dearnley provided the goals, this after being a goal down early on.
City dominated possession in the early exchanges and Manuel Garcia saw his shot tipped over the bar by Dean Henderson.
The Blues made their possession count in the 10th minute as Tyler Reid’s loose ball put Roshaun Williams under pressure, and the latter’s short back-pass to Henderson meant a rushed clearance fell only as far as Javairo Dilrosun, who gave the ball to Zackarias Faour, who drilled the ball into the bottom corner of the net, ending United’s run of over nine hours without conceding a goal.
A similar effort from a similar position, again from Faour, went just wide, as United were under the cosh during the first quarter of the game.
Marcus Wood was booked for City for a rash challenge on Joe Riley, and the resulting free-kick, began with a one-two between Reid and Charlie Scott, ended with the release of Riley, surging into the penalty area, only for his shot to hit the near post, but Redmond was on hand to fire home the rebound, to get United back on level terms.
Just over 10 minutes later and Scott played a superb through ball to set Reid on his way, and the right-back got the better of City captain Cameron Humphreys, supplying a low cross across goal in which Charlie Oliver could only divert past City keeper Kjetil Haug, as Hamilton – starting his first game for United – made sure the ball crossed the line, to give the hosts the lead.
A neat one-two between Wood and Faour saw the former force a good save from Henderson, and United failed to clear their lines, as Dilrosun’s shot forced another fine save out of Henderson.
The perfect start to the second half for United came when Riley’s corner found Williams, whose help on was blocked, but he reacted quickest, side-footing the loose ball into the goal.
City hit back almost immediately as Dilrosun’s cross from the left wasn’t dealt with, and Rodney Kongolo met the loose ball and struck it first time into the ground and watched as it looped over Henderson to half the deficit.
It was goal after goal as Henderson claimed an unlikely assist. His route one goal-kick bounced all the way through to Rashford, in behind the City defence. He took a touch to set himself, before finishing into the bottom corner to restore United’s two goal lead.
Substitute Isaac Buckley forced another fine save out of Henderson before Riley was allowed to cut inside at the other end and have a pop at goal with his weaker foot, but Haug saved as the ball bounced up at him.
Dilrosun flashed a shot across goal as the two best defences in the league beforehand showed no signs of their resolute backlines that had seen just 31 goals shipped between the two rivals in 14 games apiece.
A tricky run from Aaron Nemane into United’s penalty area ended with Williams blocking his shot behind for a corner.
The resulting corner was taken short, and Dilrosun’s dipping first time attempt came crashing off the bar as United were saved by the woodwork.
That could’ve led to a nervy finish for the hosts but instead they put the game to bed thanks to substitute Zak Dearnley, who added to his goal from the midweek Youth Cup win over Hull.
A short free-kick from Riley found Rashford, who fed Timothy Fosu-Mensah, and his cross to the back post was volleyed home by Dearnley.
The game ended with Paul McGuinness’ side moving to within a point of City, stretching their unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions.
The second lowest scorers in the division before kick-off showed no signs of that, using their clinical finishing to overcome their neighbours.
Goals from all round the team will please McGuinness, with a home game against Blackburn Rovers up next for the Reds in two weeks time, as they aim to challenge for a place in the top four come March, when the play-off games will commence.
Manchester United: Henderson; Reid, Tuanzebe, Williams, Borthwick-Jackson; Fosu-Mensah (Croskery 90+1), Scott; Riley, Redmond, Hamilton (Darnley 86); Rashford.
Subs: Rathbone, Byrne, Gribbin, Croskery, Dearnley.
Manager: Paul McGuinness
Manchester City: Haug; Tattum, Oliver, Humphreys-Grant, Wood; Kongolo; Diallo (Fernandes 77), Garcia (Patching 82); Nemane, Faour (Buckley 60), Dilrosun.
Subs: Bullock, Albinson, Patching, Fernandes, Buckley.