Reds edged out in mini-Manchester derby

Saturday 03 October 2020 15:45

Manchester United's Under-18s were narrowly beaten in the mini-derby with City as Martin Svidersky's goal proved in vain with the Blues winning 2-1.

After a goalless first half, Juan Larios was sent off but the hosts soon took the lead with a contentious penalty by Tai Sodje. Martin Svidersky levelled, only for Carlos Borges to make a swift response, much to United's frustration.

Svidersky was inches away from netting a second equaliser with the final touch of the game, deep into stoppage time.

Watch highlights of the game.
It has to be said that of the countless things that has spread Manchester’s fame across the globe, the inclement weather is probably high on the list.

And the conditions facing the youngsters of City and United at Etihad Campus, heavy rain and gusting wind, provided a near=perfect example of Manchester’s at its ‘best’!

In other words, the elements were none too kind as the teams prepared themselves for this first derby clash of the season. There was little to separate the teams in the early exchanges but, as time wore on, the home side started to enjoy a larger slice of possession. And United’s pre-match planning took a blow in the 16th minute when injured striker Mateo Mejia was forced to leave the field to be replaced by schoolboy debutant Mainoo.

Half-time was reached with neither side having found a way through but the scoreline barely reflected the first 45 minutes. City had claimed more of the territorial advantage and goalscoring opportunities but United could take huge encouragement from a solid defensive display.

The best chance of the half arrived as early as the fourth minute when a loose ball from United’s Noam Emeran almost let in City’s Tai Sodje but he failed to make the most of his fortune.

There was no cessation regards the rain cascading from the leaden skies as the second half commenced, with United defending what could be described as the Etihad’s Ashton New Road end.

Ten minutes into the half, Dillon Hoogewerf looked odds–on to put United in front as he raced upfield with a posse of City defenders in hot pursuit. The Blues’ goalkeeper James McNamara was all that stood between the Dutch youngster and the opening goal. He was just about to enter the penalty area when City’s Spanish defender Larios reached out to tug his shirt.

The referee brandished the red card and Larios departed for the dressing room whilst the ensuing free-kick was swept over the City crossbar by Emeran.

Barely two minutes later, City were in front after Bjorn Hardley had been adjudged to have fouled Sodje and were awarded a penalty which Sodje confidently converted himself.

This was quickly turning into an action-packed encounter and the drama continued six minutes later when United grabbed an equaliser in extraordinary circumstances. Keeper McNamara had received the ball and was in the process of passing to team-mate Romeo Lavia when Reds’skipper Svidersky nipped in to put his side on level terms.

Rhys Bennett was one of the players who almost got an equaliser.

The pendulum appeared to have swung United’s way once more but, remarkably, just three minutes later, we found ourselves trailing once more. And it was conditions that played a huge role when United keeper Dermot Mee miscued the ball on the slippery surface and it spun to winger Borges, who made no mistake.

United did all we could in the closing stages to get at least some reward for the trip across Manchester as chances came and went, with new signing Alejandro Garnucho, Hoogewerf, Rhys Bennett and, with the last touch of the game, Svidersky all went close to forcing an equaliser.


Manchester City 2 (Sodje 57 (pen), Borges 66)

Manchester United 1 (Svidersky 63)

United: Mee; Hughes, Bennett, Hardley, Pye; Svidersky, Savage (Iqbal 75), Hoogwerf, Forson, Emeran; Mejia (Mainoo 16 (Garnacho 77)). 

Subs not used: Guadagno, Murray.

Sent off: Laros 54.