Manchester United were beaten 2-0 in the Manchester Derby at the Academy Stadium on Saturday afternoon which saw a lot of drama with Ilias Moutha-Sebtaoui seeing red after a challenge and reaction to other City players for the challenge. United tried their best to share the spoils from the match, but it was not their day. Max Johnstone made an appearance for United after his teammates red card, conceding a goal almost as soon as he came on, unfortunately.
Kieran McKenna fielded a near enough unchanged team from last week when they beat West Bromwich Albion 5-3. The only change came with Ro-Shaun Williams coming back from injury, which will make the defence that much stronger. United have scored 15 goals in their last three matches; two 5-1 wins and a 5-3 win, which is great to see after last season,s poor displays which saw United dominating and playing well, but also conceding goals and losing regularly; twelve matches in a row at one point last season. This season is so much different, though. Nicky Butt has made some big changes, brought in some talent from Europe and a new coach at this level, which seems to be working thus far.
United started the match bright and looking to attack. Tahith Chong looked good in the early minutes but failed to threaten on the attack. City seemed to be able to counter anything sent their way, which I suppose is what teams will be looking to do in their matches. City took the lead in the 23rd minute through Luke Bolton, who had the pass put to him from the other side of the goal, squaring the ball into the back of the net. A few minutes later Tom Dele-Bashiru had the chance to double the lead, but his shot was not on target. United were not defending well, which seems to be affecting the game with City threatening and breaking through because of the poor defending.
United have been lively in the attack after the goal, mainly through Chong, who has been threatening to break forward, but seems to be stopped pretty easily. United have a lot of work to do in order to get themselves back into the match, but they are trying, which is a good sign. George Tanner broke forward from the right-back position but was not able to get anything from his break forward. Ilias Moutha-Sebtaoui had a shocker in United’s goal on the City attack, parrying the ball, which then hit Williams before the Belgian goalkeeper picked the ball up, effectively a back pass, resulting in an indirect free-kick for City, which caused no damage for United.
In the final few minutes of the first half, United broke forward with Chong getting inside the box to launch his shot which was passed to him. The ball was tipped over the bar, which was unfortunate, but it showed that United were still not out of the game, with City very much lucky for everything to go their way so far in the match. In the minute of added time, United tried to break forward through Nishan Burkart, to no avail. The half ended with City 1-0 ahead and United would have a half-time team talk with their coach, hopefully coming out and looking to get back in the game with a goal, then aim for a win.
United initially started the second half well, but City took the ball off them too easily and broke attacks of their own. United did get forward with five players versus five but again lost the ball too early in the attack. United were trying to get something back, which could get them back into the game, but City were breaking too easily suggesting that they were the more dominant side in this match. United were lucky in the 53rd minute as a City shot was on target and likely to be City’s second goal of the game, but it hit Kigbu inside the box, who stopped the ball going into the net with United clearing the ball. United then broke on the attack, but again saw the ball taken from their grasp only for City to attack again.
United were defending well in the second half, mainly through Lee O’Connor who had been excellent so far. City still seemed to be dominating the game with their attacking, but not getting much from them. United, still looking for that elusive goals were still trying and showing that ‘never give up’ attitude, which was good to see. Williams was felled by Poveda with the player going to ground just entering the final third of the pitch. Williams then grabbed Poveda in a disagreement, which was calmed down by the rest of the players, with the referee then taking both players to one side and cooling it all down. City then made their second change of the match, United were still to make one.
United made a change in the 67th minute of the match with Josh Bohui replacing Nishan Burkart with United still looking for that goal to settle the score with their rivals. Moutha-Sebtaoui was sent off for a challenge on Hardy which saw many players in a free for all. Jadon Sancho and Muric were given yellow cards; the City goalkeeper ran half way up the pitch to have a go at Moutha-Sebtaoui, which really should have seen him off to, as he did not need to get involved. United took off Buffonge for Max Johnstone to come on as the goalkeeper with United down to ten men and a goal down with less than thirteen minutes plus stoppage time remaining.
City doubled their lead in the 78th minute of the match with Foden scoring what seemed to be the winner at this level. Kayne Diedrick-Roberts was United’s third change of the match with Indy Boonen coming off. United have a lot to do in order to get back into this game, which seems unlikely, but I am sure they will be trying. United were beaten, but still gave it a go. City were by no means as clinical as they could have been and for much of the game, despite the score, both teams got forward and pressured, but it was City who were dominant on the ball and more disciplined in defence. Chong seemed to be a marked man by City, with him being fouled many times, with little given in United’s favour.
United entertain Stoke City in the Premier League U18 at the AON Training Complex a week from today with Kieran McKenna’s squad looking to get back to winning ways and find their good form once again this season.
Manchester United: Moutha-Sebtaoui; Tanner, O’Connor, Williams, Kenyon; Whelan, Buffonge (Johnstone); Chong, Gomes, Boonen (Diedrick-Roberts); Burkart (Bohui)
Substitutes Not Used: Barrett, Makela