Manchester United's Under 18s were marginally beaten again on Wednesday as table-topping Blackburn Rovers claimed a hard-fought victory at Carrington.
Modou Cham's lob over Italian goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini in the 83rd minute was enough to confirm a second defeat in five days for Paul McGuinness' boys, following Saturday's 2-1 loss to Everton. More importantly for Rovers, it confirmed them as champions of Premier Academy League Group C ahead of Manchester City.
Rovers, a muscular side with plenty of physical presence, had more chances than United throughout with Pierluigi Gollini tipping over a Ryan Edwards drive and Timothy Payne and Bradly Mason-Ware unlucky with other openings. Sam Byrne had most of the Reds' efforts and saw a header come back off the bar after Luke McCullough headed on a Joe Rothwell corner.
With seven minutes left, lively substitute Cham, who produced an eye-catching performance, sprinted clear of the defence to beat Gollini with McCullough unable to keep it out of the net despite a desperate attempt to clear. Cham felt he should have had a penalty when felled by Ben Pearson in stoppage time and the hosts mustered a couple of half-chances late on but Matthew Unwin saved bravely at Gyliano van Velzen's feet and Ashley Fletcher's header was comfortably held by the keeper.
United: Gollini; Grimshaw, Ioannou, McCullough, Blackett; Gorre (Wilkinson 78), Lawrence (Fletcher 68), Pearson, Rothwell, van Velzen; Byrne. Sub not used: Coll, Hendrie.