Manchester United's youth teams have contrasting tales; the Reserves have been relegated while the U-18s are crowned champions.
Manchester City 1-1 Manchester United
Manchester United Reserves have been relegated to the Premier League 2 Division 2. The Reds played a solid Manchester City squad on Friday night holding their rivals to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Campus. However, Derby County’s 1-0 home win against West Ham United sent Ricky Sbragia’s side down to the second tier with one game remaining.
The game against United’s neighbor opposition got off to a terrible start; Lorenzo Gonzalez opened scoring after just four minutes, latching onto a Luke Bolton cross and converting past goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara.
Manchester City dominated the opening exchanges of the game, enjoying the better chances and considerably more possession. Reserve Player of the Year nominee O’Hara had to have a safe pair of hands to deny City in the first-half.
The visitors drew level in the dying moments before the break. Callum Gribbin provided a superb cross off a wide free-kick that was met by the head of Indy Boonen, who rose above the Blues’ defenders to head home the equalizer.
United were unfortunate not to grab what would have been the decisive goal of the game, when goal scorer Boonen’s attempt was exceptionally cleared off the line by Demeaco Duhaney.
Down the other end, O’Hara made another impressive stop to deny Ian Paveda and preserve United’s point on the road.
The Reds will host Everton at Old Trafford in their final league game of the season this Friday.
Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City
Manchester United U-18s are Premier League U-18 North Champions after they defeated neighbor rivals Manchester City 2-1 at Leigh Sports Village.
The Blues were the only team capable of stopping United claiming the title, but they were required to win the mini Manchester derby. Kieran McKenna’s side had other ideas and flew out of the gates, scoring within nine minutes of the tie.
Nishan Burkart pounced on a long ball before finishing with superb composure to give the Reds the lead.
Mason Greenwood came close for United just before the break, firing just wide of Curtis Anderson’s goal. It was an entertaining first half of football, but the young United side took the slender advantage into the break.
Ten minutes into the second half, United doubled their lead. Ethan Galbraith seized on a loose clearance outside the box, and unleashed an unstoppable, thunderous shot into the net. The goal was celebrated like the they had won the league their and then, though the visitors made it hard work for the Reds.
Moments later, a City corner was inadvertently turned into the net by Brandon Williams, the defender’s attempted headed clearance found its way past Matej Kovar.
However, Manchester United would hang on and claim all three points, crowning them champions. McKenna’s side have one game remaining against Liverpool this Friday.
The Reds will play a final against Premier League U-18 South champions Chelsea in the first week of May.