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José's Juniors: U-18s widen gap at the top of table

The Reserves are knocked out of the Premier League International Cup

Manchester United U23 v Porto B: Premier League International Cup Quarter Final Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Reserves

Manchester United 0-2 Villarreal

Manchester United’s Premier League International Cup hopes have come to an end after a 2-0 defeat to Villarreal. Two goals two minutes apart were enough to sink United’s chances of progressing and send the Spanish side through to the next round.

The Reds started brightly, Tosin Kehinde ventured forward and his shot just passed wide of the goal in the fifth minute. United tested goalkeeper Jose Antonio Martinez on several occasions in the first-half. Tahith Chong’s effort from a loose clearance stung his palms but was unable to beat the Villarreal number one.

There was controversy during the break as Ricky Sbragia’s side were left waiting for the visitors to reappear for the second-half. The wait seemed to effect United as two goals in quick succession five minutes into the half proved decisive.

The first came from a Zak Dearnley loose ball, Adrian Dalmau latched onto the mistake, skillfully evading Ro-Shaun Williams before slotting past Kieran O’Hara. Another defensive mishap led to the second. Captain Joe Riley uncharacteristically lost possession and Pedro Martinez punished the Reds.

From that stage, Villarreal took control of the game in a professional manner and had the better of the chances, while defending efficiently. O’Hara was the busier of the keepers and United failed to create offensively in a disappointing evening.

Manchester United now turn to the Premier League 2 in an effort to prevent relegation. A crucial six-point game against Sunderland at Old Trafford is next on the fixture list at the weekend.

U-18s

Manchester United 4-1 Everton

Manchester United U-18s continue to impress in the Premier League U-18 North division. The Reds bounced back from a defeat to Newcastle United last time out with a thumping 4-1 victory over Everton at the Aon Training Complex on Saturday.

Three goals in the first half gave Kieran McKenna’s side control of the game in an impressive performance that keeps them at the summit of the table.

The game was a first against second affair, and the first place Reds took the lead after 11 minutes, Aidan Barlow’s good work on the wing produced a cross that Mason Greenwood converted from close range.

United had more chances on goal, but it would be the visitors who hit back. Everton striker Ellis Simms latched onto a ball from Nathan Moore and converted past United’s new shot-stopper Matej Kovar.

The Reds’ response was instantaneous, Largie Ramazani restored the lead after good work from Brandon Williams. They further strengthened their position after James Garner produced a moment of beauty, curling the ball elegantly past the Everton keeper from long distance.

The second-half continued in similar fashion to the first, with United comfortably expressing their dominance. Mason Greenwood grabbed his second of the day 12 minutes from time to seal an emphatic win.

With only six games left of the season, United will look to continue their form when they visit Wolverhampton Wanderers this coming weekend.