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Report: Frustrated Manchester United beaten 4-1 by Manchester City

Manchester United were beaten 4-1 by Manchester City in the first derby in the Premier League U18 this season. Tahith Chong put United a goal up in the sixth minute of the match, but City equalised two minutes later. It was a bad day in Manchester for United, who have lost their top spot in the U18 league, and with City having two games in hand, two wins will put some distance between the two sides.

Kieran McKenna made a few changes from the team which started against Blackburn Rovers last weekend with Tahith Chong starting after recovering from injury. United started the match in good stead, breaking forward and gaining possession. In the sixth minute, Chong put United ahead with some good interplay, launching his effort into the roof of the net which was a perfect start for United in the first U18 derby of the season. United’s lead lasted less than two minutes after City equalised in the seventh minute through Keyendrah Simmonds.

United have looked bright, despite losing their lead quickly. Nishan Burkart has had quick glimpses of pace and Chong had shown that his injury was over with his return to form. United, in the first twenty minutes, had given City a game, which cannot be said in recent seasons; last season this fixture was a 2-0 defeat for United. Aiden Barlow had been a handful for City and in the 21st minute, he launched a long-range effort with the City goalkeeper sending the ball out for a corner, taken by Angel Gomes.

The corner went straight to Arnau Puigmal, who flicked the ball to Barlow, who then attempted another shot which was wide of the target. City took the lead in the 28th minute of the match with Colin Rosler finding the back of the net after being set up by Doyle. United now had a lot to do to get back into the game or seeing their unbeaten run undone by their local rivals. City had another chance in the 31st minute of the match, heading the shot over the crossbar which could have put the home side 3-1 up in the match.

United had the chance to create something with Burkart on the ball, he then passed to Puigmal, who could not keep hold of the ball with City regaining possession and pressing United. Chong was fouled with City giving away a free-kick just behind the halfway line and United were seeking to get forward, passing to the flank but City regained possession and broke forward, messing up on the attack with Alex Fojticek gathering the ball. City won the ball again and Felix Nmecha had the chance to score again, the attempt being thwarted.

Gomes won a free-kick in the 35th minute of the match with United still chasing the game. City won possession again and seemed to be bossing the game and pressuring United at every opportunity. Lee O’Connor stood firm with City on the attack, making a clearance to deny City another goalscoring opportunity. In the 37th minute, Gomes dropped into a deeper role to get some influence on the game, sending the ball forwards to Burkart, who broke away from his man but could not get a shot on goal.

United won a penalty after Chong was fouled in the box, which gives United the lifeline to leveling the score. It was Jeremie Frimpong who committed himself to the challenge and gave the penalty away. It was Gomes who took the penalty, sending his shot over the crossbar in a poor attempt to level the score. City, on the ball, gained ground and had another opportunity to open a two-goal cushion in the match, which is down to a lot of poor play by United. Simmonds scored his second goal in the 40th minute, sending City 3-1 up and cruising to victory.

Five minutes of the first half remained with United 3-1 down and pushing forward to try to reduce the deficit. Chong seemed to be fouled at the edge of the box, which was not given, but seconds later a foul was committed, a free-kick was given, with United seeking a goal back before the break. Barlow played a good pass forwards, it unable to reach Puigmal with City regaining possession only for United to get involved and pushing forward again. Barlow, Chong, and Puigmal were in a position to get something from this attack, City defending well as Barlow whipped the ball in to no avail.

The tempo of the match slowed as the break approached and United’s chances were few and far between. City still seemed good on and off the ball, pressuring United at every opportunity. The half ended 3-1 with United needing a big effort in the second half to earn something from the game. Tahith Chong was lively in the half, showing his class after his return from injury, but there were not many bright spells for United.

McKenna made a change at the start of the second half with George Tanner replacing Jake Barrett. United seemed to be missing something to take this City side on. On the positive side, Burkart seemed to be a bit of magic United needed, his pace, ability on the ball and fearless approach was starting to show but City were still too dominant in the match for United to get in and score. IN the 58th minute of the match United seemed to be getting somewhere with Burkart and Puigmal on the attack, City recovering and denying United from scoring.

Seconds later, Puigmal was through but could not get anything for his club. After City changed the way of the attack, Gomes passed to Puigmal with United breaking forward, eventually passing to Barlow, who fired his shot wide of the target but it was more positive play from United. Gomes and Rosler were both booked in the 63rd minute of the match after Gomes, seemingly frustrated, flew into a challenge, pushing the City player. McKenna then made two more changes with Millen Baars and Dylan Levitt replacing both Chong and Puigmal.

After the changes, United seemed a bit better with Baars getting involved in the game and using his pace and skills on the ball to pressure City. Gomes, seemingly ending his frustration, has shown glimpses of good play as United still look to recover from being two goals down after taking the lead early in the match. City were pegged back in to their own half, but it did not work well for United as City, on the counter, pressured United before they regained possession.

Gomes seemed to be aiming to inspire something for United, sending Burkart into the box, the pair unable to get a goal back for United. Baars, on the pitch for five minutes, is starting to become that player that United needed from the start of the game. It was all over for United in the 73rd minute of the match after City took their corner and the ball was headed into the back of the net by to captain, Eric Garcia, having another free header on target. United have been undone by their own incompetence.

There was plenty of frustration with United behind and the referee not giving a handball as a City player used his hand to stop United from breaking through. With eight minutes remaining, United were still 4-1 down but trying to get something from this game. Using Tonga in the Rugby League World Cup could be good inspiration as they scored three tries in the final six or seven minutes against England this morning.

Time was running out for United, despite the chances they had created, which came to nothing. In stoppage time, United won a free-kick in a dangerous position, but still being 4-1 down, any goal was not going to make an impact in the match. Gomes took the free-kick with O’Connor at the far post, close to scoring. It does not feel like a 4-1 defeat as United, despite being overrun by City, have not been completely thrashed, looking good in some attacks. Decisions not going their way were part of the problem. The match ended 4-1 with City taking first blood in the Manchester derby.

United will take a break from the Premier League U18 for nearly a fortnight, playing their next match on Saturday 9th December against fourth-placed Liverpool at home. Next week though, United will face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the U18 Premier League Cup at the Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground needing a victory after falling to a 1-0 defeat in the last game against Stoke City, winning the first, a 4-3 thriller, against Arsenal earlier in the season.

Goals: Tahith Chong 6′

Manchester United: Fojticek; Laird, Barrett (Tanner 45′), O’Connor, Williams; Garner, Barlow; Puigmal (Levitt 65′), Gomes, Chong (Baars 65′); Burkart

Substitutes Not Used: Carner, Bughail-Mellor

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