United's Under-18s stage comeback win at Liverpool
Manchester United’s Under-18s produced an excellent team performance to come from two goals down against Liverpool and earn a 3-2 victory from Saturday's Premier League Cup quarter final.
Under-18s boss Neil Ryan will presumably be delighted by the effort and togetherness that his young side showed, in difficult circumstances, which will surely benefit their progression this season.
The tie needed a period of extra time to separate the teams after 90 minutes produced an entertaining 2-2 draw, and our young Reds prevailed after digging deep to achieve the result.
Liverpool had led by two goals following first-half strikes from Paul Glatzel and Bobby Duncan, but a red card for Morgan Boyes led to Mason Greenwood and Di'Shon Bernard striking back in the second half, before the former scored his second free-kick of the tie to claim the win in extra time.
Under-18s in actionGallery
Take a closer look at our Premier League Cup quarter-final win against Liverpool.
Needless to say that both teams were all set for this contest. After all, this is Liverpool against Manchester United and it was clear to see from the outset that this was going to be a typically hard-fought game with no quarter given or expected.
There was little in the way of real chances until the 13th minute when Largie Ramazani unleashed a blistering shot that would surely have found the top corner of the Liverpool net but for goalkeeper Vitezslav Joros’s fine save.
That was a sign of things to come for over the next half-hour or so it was both goalkeepers who took centre stage. James Thompson made a string of great saves to deny Liverpool skipper Glatzel and stopper Joros was equally hard to beat, as Anthony Elanga found in the 34th minute.
Openings were certainly being made, but three minutes before half time it was the home team made the breakthrough when Glatzel was fouled inside the box by United defender Mengi. Referee Jonathan Maskery awarded the penaty and Glatzel’s well-struck shot was blocked by Thompson, but the penalty-taker followed up to slide the ball into the net on the rebound.
Glatzel was also instrumental as Liverpool doubled their lead at the start of the second half when he crossed to the far post for Duncan to execute a simple tap in.
Three minutes later and United were thrown a lifeline when Liverpool defender Boyes was sent-off following a clumsy challenge on Ramazani.
The ensuing free-kick on the edge of the area was lashed home by Greenwood to his side back in the picture.
United were level with 14 minutes remaining after Mengi’s header was diverted into the net by Bernard from close range, following fine play by Greenwood.
Neil Ryan’s lads dominated the latter stages as Liverpool, suffering from being a man down, began to tire but there were no further goals so the game moved into extra-time.
United continued to hold the upper hand and, moments before the end of the first half of extra-time, Greenwood worked his magic again by executing another fabulous free-kick.
There was unfortunately a distressing ending for D’mani Mellor, who was taken from the field on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance after receiving lengthy treatment from medical staff.
Liverpool Under-18s (Glatzel 42, Duncan 58)
Manchester United Under-18s 3 (Greenwood 61, 105, Bernard 76)
United: Thompson, Puigmal (Mellor 61), Mengi, Bernard, Williams B. Devine 110); Garner, Traore (Galbraith 105), Levitt; Elanga, Greenwood, Ramazani.
Substitutes not used: Carney, McGhee