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Ethan Laird celebrates

Under 18s: Liverpool 2 United 1

Under-18 Premier League North | Scorers: Millar 6, Camacho 72 | Laird 13

Goals from Liam Millar and Rafael Camacho gave Liverpool the points against title-winning Manchester United in the Under-18 Premier League, despite the sending off of Rhys Williams.

A youthful United line-up, including an assured Teden Mengi at the back, were good value for Ethan Laird's equaliser and were on top throughout the second half but fell to a goal on the break by the 10 men.

Despite a bright opening by the Reds, which featured a shot by Largie Ramazani that was saved by Caoimhin Kelleher, the home side drew first blood after only six minutes. Adam Lewis sprinted down the left to cross with power and Millar tapped home his 15th goal in 15 games.

United responded well, with the lively Ramazani cutting across goal, only for Tom Clayton to block, and an equaliser arrived when Millen Baars and Dion McGhee were involved but Laird burst onto the ball to take charge and ran into the box to fire past Kelleher with his left foot for his first goal at this level.

Millar lashed a good attempt wide from the edge of the box and was thwarted by a wonderful save from Alex Fojticek, when the Slovakian keeper raced out of his goal decisively. Mason Greenwood had a free-kick saved but the Merseysiders had the final effort of the half, through Camacho's dipper that swerved over the top.

Teden Mengi in action
Under-16s defender Teden Mengi excelled at the heart of the defence.

United controlled matters after the break but were unable to find a way past Kelleher. James Garner's drive was well held by the hosts' keeper before the red-card incident came on 53 minutes. Rhys Williams was guilty of a studs-up challenge on Garner after the skipper pounced on a sloppy free-kick deep in the Liverpool half and it was an easy decision for the referee to send the defender off.

As was the case in the corresponding fixture at The Cliff, the 10 men were galvanised and regained the lead against the run of play. Although Greenwood, blazing over a Baars pass and substitute D'Mani Mellor, with a mistimed diving header from Ramazani's cross, could have handed the league winners the lead, instead Steven Gerrard's men edged in front.

Camacho capitalised on a slip by Laird and cut inside Max Dunne before finishing his purposeful run with a low drive past Fojticek. Substitute Ethan Galbraith almost repeated his brilliant strike in the Manchester derby but his effort drifted just wide as the home side held out for a narrow victory.

Match played in bright sunshine
The match was played in bright sunshine in the first half.

United: Fojticek; Laird, Dunne (Galbraith 82), Mengi, B. Williams; Garner, Levitt, McGhee (Mellor 62); Baars, Greenwood, Ramazani (Elanga 73).

Subs not used: Thompson, Bernard.