Sunderland 0-1 Manchester United
The reserves got a much needed result away at Sunderland last Sunday, beating the black cats 1-0. This result came a few days after the humiliating 3-1 home defeat to bitter rivals Liverpool.
United faced a strong Liverpool side that had a wealth of Premier League experience at its disposal, including Danny Ings, Jon Flanagan and Alexander Trent-Arnold. United drafted a fairly young side with James Wilson heading the attack. It was Wilson who got on the score sheet for the reserves, grabbing an equalizer on the hour mark after Ovie Ejaria gave Liverpool an early lead. However, two goals in quick succession gave Liverpool a comfortable lead and they were able to hold out and leave with all three points.
Five days later, United were back in action against fellow strugglers Sunderland. Ricky Sbragia lined up another fairly young side in this must-win game. Demitri Mitchell was the hero of the game, winning a penalty in the 49th minute and calmly scoring it to give United the only goal in the match. Sunderland were fairly uninspiring in the encounter, though O’Hara dealt with any threat to his goal assuredly.
The results leave United bottom of the table, on goal difference alone. To put it in perspective, a win could lift the reserves up to seventh, depending on other results. In the Premier League 2 Division 1, five out of the 12 teams all have eight points, including United.
The reserves won’t return to Premier League 2 action until November 18th, when United welcome noisy neighbors Manchester City in a mouth-watering encounter. In between then, the reserves play two games in the Premier League International Cup – the reds will host both Swansea City and Athletic Club Bilbao. It’s the first games United will play in the competition, Celtic are the other team in Group D.
Manchester United 2-1 Sunderland
The reserves weren’t the only team to beat the Black Cats this week; the U-18’s claimed all three points in a 2-1 victory at Carrington Training Ground.
United suffered an early surprise set-back in the game, when Benjamin Kimpioka netted after 25 minutes. It took sustained United pressure to get the youngsters back in the game. Their efforts were rewarded on the 64th minute as in-form Aidan Barlow latched onto a deflected cross. Eight minutes later, United took the lead, with Barlow providing the assist to Mason Greenwood who slotted home.
The result momentarily puts United top of the table. Manchester City are two points behind but hold two games in hand over the reds. Their next fixture in the Premier League U-18 North Division is against Blackburn Rovers on 18th November. Before then, the young reds face Stoke City in the PL Cup – United sit top of Group F after beating Arsenal 4-3 in September. The game will be on Sunday 5th November.
The U-18’s also have a U-17 World Cup Winner returning to their side. Angel Gomes had a stellar World Cup, captaining the England side to victory. Although he came off the bench on regular occasions, his performances were sensational, scoring two goals in five appearances. Gomes, who is deemed a future star for United, will be a fantastic addition returning to Kieran McKenna’s squad.