Derby County 1-1 Manchester United
The Reserves ended a run of three straight loses with a 1-1 draw away at Derby County on Sunday afternoon. Ricky Sbragia’s side were unable to come away from St. George’s Park with three points despite taking an early lead and the hosts going down to 10 men.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson featured for the Reserves for the first time this season after his loan spell at Leeds United was cut short last month.
Tahith Chong, who has caught the attention of many after an impressive individual performance in last week’s loss to Spurs, once again proved to be a key element in United’s forward game. The young Dutchman’s speed was too much to handle and he drew a foul in the box after 25 minutes. Devonte Redmond stepped up and converted the penalty to give the reds the advantage.
Derby County responded well and had a couple of good opportunities to level before the break, but were unable to finish.
However, the Rams started the second-half the better team and 11 minutes after the restart found themselves level. Striker Lewis Walker met a cross with his head past goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara.
The home team went close a few minutes later, but Joe Bateman’s strike went wide of the post.
Derby were reduced to 10 men after 72 minutes, when Cameron Creswell handled the ball illegally. The referee gave him his second yellow of the afternoon and the forward left the field.
Unfortunately, United were unable to capitalize on the personnel advantage and the game finished 1-1.
It’s the Reds’ first point of 2018, and they will look to build on the result when they host Chelsea at home on February 16.
Manchester United 6-3 Derby County
Two own goals and a brace from Nishan Burkart helped Manchester United’s U-18s storm past Derby County 6-3 in an incredibly entertaining game at Carrington.
United were on the scoresheet quickly in this encounter as Burkart found himself in the right place when Millen Baars’ initial effort was deflected. The two sides continued to attack at a feverish pace; the Reds came close when Jayden Mitchell-Lawson hit the post, while Alex Fojticek kept out the Rams on numerous occasions.
United doubled their lead moments before half-time, when Mason Greenwood struck from inside the box. One for the dubious goal committee, the ball ricocheted off keeper Matthew Yates and into the back of the net.
The second half would bring more of the same fast-paced, entertaining, attacking football.
Nishan Burkart replaced an injured Baars after 67 minutes and found himself on the scoresheet just three minutes later. Largie Ramazani dispatched a shot that was saved by Yates, but Burkart was on time to prod home United’s third of the afternoon.
The visitors grabbed one back 10 minutes later, when striker Jason Knight controlled a ball in the box and drove home past Fojticek.
Any chance of a Rams resurgence was swiftly dampened by the reds, when creator Burkart saw his saved shot deflect off Derby player Callum McKinley and roll into the goal.
Mason Greenwood made it five just three minutes later from a tight angle. However, the visitors had not given up, and two goals in two minutes provided a nervous finish to the game with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Though, as stoppage time started, Burkart would grab his second of the day with a lovely solo effort. The youngster showed great strength and composure and lofted the ball over Yates to give United a sixth and all three points.
Kieran McKenna’s side are flying at the top of the table. Rivals Liverpool fluffed their chance at overtaking the Reds in the table, when they lost 2-1 at home to Stoke City.
With eight games left in the season, the U-18s will be hoping their excellent run of form will continue. They head north-east to face Newcastle United in their next game, on Saturday 10th February.