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Report: Manchester United knocked out of the Premier League Cup U18 after Wolves defeat

Manchester United were beaten 3-2 by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League Cup U18 on Saturday afternoon. Austin Samuels scored in the 23rd and 28th minute to break United hearts with Joe Whittingham scoring 90 seconds into the second half. D’Mani Mellor scored a consolation for United with Mason Greenwood getting another two minutes from time, not enough for United.

Kieran McKenna made a few changes for his side ahead of the UEFA Youth League clash with CSKA Moscow on Tuesday. Aliou Traore made his debut at U18 level, whilst Di’Shon Bernard and Largie Ramazani both made their first start at U18 level with Teden Mengi, and Mason Greenwood, both talented U16 level players, making starts also.

United started the game well and with Arsenal winning 4-2 against Stoke, United needed the win to make it through to the next stage of the Premier League Cup U18. United looked lively with Dylan Levitt and Nishan Burkart playing well together, which was where United first credible chance of the game came with the former setting up Burkart who rounded the keeper, hitting the post.

United forced a save from the Wolves keeper with Largie Ramazani breaking through, showing himself as the brightest star in the game so far today. United’s dominance was short-lived though with Wolves taking the lead in the 25th minute through Austin Samuels after getting in behind the United defence, who were all out of position and taking first blood from the game, giving United a big hill to climb.

United found themselves 2-0 down in the 28th minute after some poor play by the United defence. Samuels again took advantage of the poor defending, beating both Mengi and Bernard, slotting home his second goal of the match. United needed to buck their ideas up, or face being knocked out of the Premier League Cup U18 this season.

United started to recover from their mistakes later in the second half, pressuring Wolves going forward and winning set-piece after set-piece, still trailing 2-0 though. United had a long-range effort in the 40th minute of the match which was straight at the goalkeeper but showed intent from this United side, who could change the game in the second half. The first half ended 2-0 to Wolves.

There were no changes for United at the start of the second half and needed to win by three clear goals, needing a 5-3 victory at least from this half. It was not to be though as Wolves scored again through Joe Whittingham 90 seconds into the second half. Bernard was on the right side of the header and should have done more to thwart the attempt.

United had a penalty shout in the 52nd minute after what seemed to be a push inside the box but nothing was given by the referee and James Garner ended up being booked. In the 53rd minute, McKenna made a double substitution with Ramazani and Traore being replaced by Millen Baars and D’Mani Mellor.

United were still chasing the game on the hour mark, needing nothing short of a miracle to win this match. Despite the changes, Wolves seemed to be in the driving seat in the match at this stage, despite being 3-0 up. In the 65th minute of the match, United through George Tanner broke forward, aiming to get a goal back in the game, but it did not come.

United made their third substitution in the 71st minute with Arnau Puigmal replacing Nishan Burkart. In the 72nd minute, after Puigmal had a chance to score, D’Mani Mellor got a goal back for United, which was a start. 3-1 to Wolves though. United tried to get back into the game, but needing six goals was too big a task. They did have many set-pieces late on though – to no avail.

In the 85th minute, United had a great chance to get another goal, unable to get it into the back of the net, unbelievably. United won a throw-in from the attempt. United scored their second goal in the 88th minute through Mason Greenwood. United seemed to show some urgency in injury time, unable to get anything from the game, losing 3-2 and ending their time in the Premier League Cup U18 this season.

Goals: D’Mani Mellor 72′, Mason Greenwood 88′

Manchester United: Richardson; Tanner, Mengi, Bernard, Williams; Garner, Traore (Baars 53′); Ramazani (Mellor 53′), Greenwood, Levitt; Burkart (Puigmal 71′)

Substitutes Not Used: Carney, Galbraith

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