Manchester United were beaten in the Under-21 derby at the AJ Bell Stadium with Greg Leigh and George Glendon netting for the Blues and Jesse Lingard on the scoresheet again for Warren Joyce's side.
With the neighbours level on points in the division heading into the fixture, the result is a damaging one in terms of reaching the semi-finals of the Barclays Under-21 competition but there can be few complaints despite the Reds registering more shots on goal.
Although Ian Lawlor was first to be called into action, after Lingard burst onto a Joe Rothwell through ball, City went ahead inside the first 10 minutes. Sam Johnstone pulled off an amazing save to deny Leigh but the left-back rose highest to power home the resulting corner.
Lingard drove forward to again test Lawlor and the City keeper made an instinctive stop with his right boot to deny Davide Petrucci after a neat move led to Rothwell supplying an inviting cut-back. The clearest chance came on the stroke of half-time when Will Keane somehow headed wide from close range from Petrucci's fine cross.
It took less than two minutes of the second half for United to level as Petrucci's cute pass into the path of Lingard allowed the quicksilver forward to advance on goal and supply a classic finish past Lawlor. Yet it spurred the Blues into an impressive response with Jordy Hiwula passing up a glaring opening before Devante Cole's powerful run past Donald Love enabled Glendon to net with the aid of a slight deflection.
City dominated for a spell and dictated the tempo with an exhibition of passing but Larnell Cole mustered a shot at Lawlor when panic ensued from a Reece James cross into the six-yard box. Lingard forced another sprawling save out of Lawlor after a Larnell Cole shot was blocked with Rothwell then hammering off target with his final touch before being replaced by Andreas Pereira.
Larnell Cole cut inside, only to fire wide at the near post, and there was no real late rally by the Reds, despite four minutes of injury time, with the