In a busy day yesterday for Manchester United with all three teams in action, the U18s took the match against Derby County.
Derby started the match with high energy, pressing United’s back line and not letting them play out from behind.
The match’s first big chance fell for Derby after a series of lucky rejections. A pass to the side pulled the defense out of position which let Alejandro Garnacho slip through on goal.
A shot from 18 yards caused the ball to bounce to the back post, and with flying bodies it ended up at the back of the net outside the foot of Derby’s Zion Dixon.
United seemed to be bouncing quickly through Garnacho after receiving a square pass from Sam Murray, the Spaniard kicked the ball up and spun and hit it on the volley. But it crashed right past the bottom corner and into the side netting.
Garnacho had a difficult time on the field; the muddy surface was clearly affecting his technique. The resulting free kick was a flat shot into the area just in front of the keeper.
It started to look like the Garnacho show when he was played down the left again by Sam Mather. He cut in and struck from 20 yards down into the bottom left corner, but the keeper did really well to get down and the palm back to the corner.
The referee’s whistle blew shortly after the marked half, with the score 1-0 to Derby despite United looking the better side.
Garnacho continued his effort in the second half as Sam Mather bent into the box and played him into the middle, but his effort was saved well again.
But in the end, the second half did not start as planned, with Derby doubling their lead in the 51st minute. A bad pass by Radek Vitek caused Omari Forson to lose the ball and Zion Dixon to score again.
When the desperation started, Garnacho threw himself into a challenge after a loose touch and received a yellow card.
After winning another free kick with smart footwork from the Spaniard, Mather stepped up this time and curled the ball towards the top right corner, but the goalkeeper was there to save.
Manni Norkett saw his fine effort strike the top of the bar following some good work up the middle by his teammates after 76 minutes.
The referee blew and pointed at the spot, and after some discussion with the line referee about whether it was offside, penalties were handed down.
Norkett stepped up to take the smashed one in the bottom right corner to pull one back.
Garnacho still pressed for the equalizer in the dying stages of the match, and Garnacho blasted through the middle with a 40-yard run before slipping Ethan Ennis in to his left. The new signature from Liverpool calmly threw the ball over the rushing goalkeeper to equalize the match.
Into surplus time, and Garnacho still led the charge. He blasted through Derby’s midfield but almost tore his shirt off when he was pulled down. A pass to the side pulled the defense out of position which let Derby slip through on goal. Garnacho saw his fine effort strike the top of the bar following some good work up the middle by his teammates after 80 minutes.
The final whistle was blown shortly after and the match ended 2-2.
United: Vitek, Ogunneye (Nolan 76), Bennett, Fredricson, Murray, Oyedele, Forson (Kambwala 62), Mather, Garnacho, Ennis, Norkett
Unused subs: Hanbury, Moorhouse, Berry