Manchester United u18s hosted rivals Liverpool at Carrington on Saturday morning with a youthful looking side including a number of players still eligible for u16s football.
Liverpool were hot out of the gates with Elyh Harrison being tested within the first minute with a low shot from the edge of the box that he did well to hold on to.
United’s first threat came through 15 year old Shea Lacey, who cut onto his left and floated in a delicate ball that was flicked towards goal by Victor Musa only to be denied by a fantastic save.
James Nolan started the play charging inside and switching the ball to Musa who laid off to the overlapping Ethan Williams to shoot low and hard which the keeper couldn’t hold on to, allowing James Scanlon to pounce and knock home the rebound in the 14th minute .
Five minutes later, Louis Jackson intercepted the Liverpool cross into the box, but his control was loose, allowing Liverpool’s own 15 year old Kareem Ahmed to nip in and touch past Williams’ incoming challenge and go down for the penalty. Liverpool’s captain Terrence Miles slotted it into the bottom right corner to draw it level.
United looked for a quick response through Lacey cutting infield onto his left boot and unleashing a shot from the edge of the box, but it was blocked out for a corner.
Approaching the half hour mark, United hit Liverpool on a quick counter-attack. It started with a precision long ball from Lacey to split the defense and send Musa through on goal, but the young winger overthought it and mishit his dinked attempt over the keeper.
A sloppy cough up in possession gave Liverpool a 2 against 1 scenario with Trent Kone-Doherty striking from eight yards out centrally, but Harrison stood tall to deny him and push the ball over the bar for a corner. Harrison then flew out to collect it in what was a strong performance from the summer signing.
United had a chance in the last seconds of the half when Manni Norkett overlapped Musa and struck low, forcing the keeper to push it back into danger but Liverpool were the quicker to react and clear, leaving it 1-1 at the break.
A huge chance opened for United early in the second half when James Nolan played a one-two with Lacey to get to the byline and cut back for Scanlon to lash at the net, but it was blocked and then fell to Norkett, who couldn’t don’t get a shot away.
In the 60th minute, Lacey was causing havoc down the right again and got past his marker, who resorted to pushing him down, earning Liverpool’s Calum Scanlon a second yellow card and an early shower.
Minutes later, taking advantage of the extra man, Nolan played a great diagonal ball to Musa, who crossed first time to find Norkett with a lunging jump to put the ball on goal. But the striker couldn’t connect fully to beat the keeper.
But the clinical Norkett wouldn’t make the same mistake, as just a minute later it was a repeat delivery from Musa, crossing low for Norkett to slot home from six yards out to give United the lead.
United added a third in the 82nd minute with an unbelievable goal from Jayce Fitzgerald, on the half volley from over 25 yards out, pinging in off the underside of the cross bar.
WHAT A GOAL!
Jayce Fitzgerald 🚀 pic.twitter.com/GVKN4opKqy
— utdreport Academy (@utdreportAcad) January 21, 2023
Into injury time Ranel Young ran past Jack Kingdon and then twisted past Jackson before finishing under Harrison to give Liverpool a late consolation but it wasn’t enough as United ran out 3-2 victors.
United remain in third place but with four matches in hand over league leaders Manchester City, who lead by eight points.
United: Harrison, Nolan, Kingdon, Jackson, Williams, Fitzgerald, Berry (Mantato 90), Lacey (Ibragimov 80), Scanlon, Musa, Norkett
Unused subs: Wooster, Baumann, Munro
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