U18s report: United 0 Liverpool 5
United’s young Academy side went down 5-0 to an experienced, strong and confident Liverpool side in the first Under-18 Premier League North game of the season at Carrington.
The Reds had their moments but found it difficult against their Merseyside visitors and had no answer to the goal threat of striker Oakley Cannonier, who claimed a hat-trick.
United’s new Under-18s coach, Travis Binnion, made just one change to the side which lost to Manchester City last week, with Tyler Fredricson coming in for Sam Murray.
As correctly predicted by the weather experts, the conditions were dull and damp as the game began with United taking the early initiative with an immediate attack to test the visitors’ defence.
Liverpool, who launched their season with a 5-3 win over Stoke City, were quick to reply and twice within the space of three minutes they produced a couple of good scoring chances.
Following United’s early flurry there was no doubting that the visitors had warmed to the task and, in the 11th minute, their bright start bore fruit. Defender Terence Miles provided an inviting cross and it was accepted with a perfect finish by Cannonier.
Liverpool were having more of the ball and forcing a good number of corners and it was from one of those that they doubled their lead after 32 minutes. Mateusz Musialowski’s corner-kick was cleared by United’s defence but the ball fell at the feet of the visitors’ skipper Luca Stephenson, who managed to thread his shot through the congested area and into Vitek’s net.
A few minutes later and United had their best opportunity of the first half when Alejandro Garnacho’s angled drive looked to be zooming goal-bound until Liverpool ‘keeper Marcelo Pitaluga pulled off a splendid save to push the ball over the bar.
The second half brought much of the same with United trying their utmost to ease themselves back into the game, but shortly after the hour mark Cannonier took a pass from James Balagizi before notching his second of the afternoon.
Five minutes later United conceded the fourth goal of the game and it was Cannonier who beat Vitek from close range to complete his treble.
Liverpool sealed a resounding win and recorded five goals for the second week running when defender Miles drove home from the right side of the area in the closing stages.
And an afternoon to forget was compounded as United finished the game with 10 men, as Marc Jurado was forced to depart injured after all three substitutes had been used.
United: Vitek; Jurado, Jackson, Fredricson (Oyedele 57), Pye; Mainoo, McAllister (Bennett 57); Sharpe, Mather, Garnacho (Gore 67); Norkett.
Subs not used: Murray, Hanbury.
Goals: Cannonier 11, 61, 66 Stephenson 32, Miles 75
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