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Report: James Wilson shone for Manchester United in draw with City

Manchester United draw 1-1 with Manchester City in the mini-derby in the Premier League 2. James Wilson put United ahead in the 21st minute with a sublime finish but United’s hard work was undone by Lukas Nmecha who equalised for City early in the second half. It was controversial for United with a penalty not given for a handball and possibly two red cards for City. United will be happy with the point though.

Ricky Sbragia fielded a strong side against Manchester City in the first mini-derby in the Premier League 2 this season. United started the match at rock bottom in the league and a victory would propel them to seventh – the position City started the match in. United started well, pushing their opponents to try to take advantage of the match.

United nearly took the lead through James Wilson in the 15th minute of the match, earning a corner, which Wilson tried to pounce on but the bounce on the ball made it hard to get a shot on goal. United looked confident going forward. In the 19th minute, Zak Dearnley won another corner for United after seeing his shot deflected over the crossbar. The corner came to nothing.

James Wilson put United ahead in the 21st minute being played through on goal and scoring from a tight angle and pegging City behind. United looked set to take this game from the off, but it all depends on whether City start to dig deep for the rest of the match and claim something.

United had some not so good chances to double their lead, nothing coming of any of them. In the 32nd minute, City had a shot through Phil Foden and Kieran O’Hara sent the ball out for a corner, the first for City today, which amounted to nothing. United were still on top with around eleven minutes before the break, still one goal to the good.

United had the chance to double their lead in the 36th minute with Tosin Kehinde and Wilson on the advance with Wilson passing to Ethan Hamilton, whose shot towards goal seemed to touch the unnatural hand of Tosin Adarabioyo for which the referee gave a corner, which should have been a penalty and possibly a red card. Nothing came of the corner other than more pressure for City to deal with.

Luca Ercolani, who was having a good game, slid in with a tackle on Lukas Nmecha, winning the ball. Then Nmecha went to ground with Ercolani being booked for the challenge which is pretty poor refereeing, especially after he gave nothing for the deliberate handball in the box minutes before. Three minutes were added on at the end of the half.

Wilson and Dearnley had the chance to get something in added time for United but were unable to get anything through the City defence, who seemed to have turned up after Wilson’s opening goal earlier in the first half. The first half ended with United still in control of the fixture but with all to play for in the second half.

At the start of the second half, Kehinde showed his skill by getting the better of five or six City players, with Wilson and Hamilton forward threatening and the pass was played with Hamilton finding the back of the net but the goal was disallowed for offside. Another decision in favour of City today but probably a correct one.

City forced the equaliser from the restart through Nmecha with a lovely finish, which will mean United need to get back on track or face losing today, which would be hard to take after going ahead and not being awarded a blatant penalty – not to mention the disallowed goal from moments ago.

City had the chance to take the lead in the 52nd minute of the match but O’Hara had it covered, collection the ball and sending United on their way forward with City winning possession and pressuring United – something which United needed to overcome, turning the tables on the side like they did throughout the first half of the match.

Joel Latibeaudiere was booked in the 54th minute of the match for a cynical foul on Kehinde who had beaten his first man, which won a free-kick for United – amounting to nothing for Sbragia’s boys who were looking to regain control of the fixture again. Latibeaudiere fouled Wilson in the 58th minute of the match, which was a yellow card offence yet nothing shown by the referee. It should have been the second red card of the game, in my opinion at least.

Foden had the opportunity to put City ahead but O’Hara made the perfect save and his defence cleared the threat. City were banging on the door with United pressured for much of the second half, which needs to change with United dishing out the pressure, then them seeming to change the game with another goal. City had another chance to gain something, it missing all City players in and around the box.

United had the chance to retake the lead in the 66th minute of the match with Charlie Scott putting pressure on City, not able to get the ball into the back of the net though. It was a good period by United, who were still in possession of the ball in City’s area but putting the ball out of play and City in possession to try to win the game themselves.

Wilson had the chance to restore the lead for United in the 69th minute after more good play from United. The English forward unleashed his shot which was off target, not really pressuring City despite causing them some problems throughout the match. Kehinde is a runner for Man of the Match today after his play throughout the match, dribbling well and running in and out of the space left vacant by City.

In the 83rd minute of the match, James Wilson and Charlie Scott were replaced by Indy Boonen and Josh Bohui.A minute or so later, Callum Gribbin replaced  Zak Dearnley with United seemingly looking to string enough together in order to find a second goal, or even play for the draw. United tried to get something late into the match, just before five minutes af added time were announced.

Bohui had a shot on goal inside the first minute of added time, cutting in from the left and striking his attempt from outside of the box. The City keeper saved his effort though and United were then on the defence with City seeking that winning goal – to no avail.

There was a bit of excitement at the end of the match with City banging on the door, threatening for a goal and United making the clearance and Bohui on the run. His pass did not meet his teammate with the City keeper getting the ball and sending City up the other end to threaten.

City were on top in the second half, with United on top for the first half, so it was a fair result at 1-1. Lots to think about from the game though, the penalty not given, two possible red cards and the disallowed goal, which could have changed it all for United.

Goals: James Wilson 21′

Manchester United: O’Hara; Riley, Ercolani, Williams, Mitchell; Sang, Scott (Boonen 83′); Dearnley (Gribbin 85′), Hamilton, Kehinde; Wilson (Bohui 83′)

Substitutes Not Used: Warren, M. Johnstone

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