Charlie McNeill scores four to help Manchester United U18s to derby victory

A four-goal haul for Charlie McNeill condemned Manchester City U18 to their first league defeat of the season and extended Manchester United’s advantage at the top of the table.

McNeill re-joined United from City in summer and kissed the United badge in the midst of derby joy for the Reds.

It’s another in a string of name-making performances in the United academy. Joe Hugill hit four against Liverpool, Shola Shoretire scored a hat-trick against Blackburn and now McNeill has provided a brilliant four himself.

The English striker led a much-depleted United from the front as Neil Ryan’s side hosted City in the swirling wind of Carrington.

Manchester United U18s beat City with long list of absentees

Despite the long list of absentees, United began well with McNeill grabbing a brace within 20 minutes.

The first was a perfectly-directed header past McNamara after an inswinging corner from Charlie Savage. The second was a penalty which McNeill saw saved before converting the rebound. Wellens, McNeill and Emeran had combined to win the spot-kick.

Charlie McNeill kisses United badge as he scores four against old club City

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Quality turned farcical near the end of the first half. United put the ball out to allow the injured Rhys Bennett to receive treatment. City returned it from the throw-in but as United’s players tried to let the ball go out once again for a goal-kick, City’s Sodje nicked in and tucked it past Vitek for a goal. In Bielsa-style of a couple of seasons ago, after a few confrontations, City allowed United to score immediately after. McNeill simply walked through the team and put it away. That was his hat-trick goal. He would make up for the underwhelming nature of it later.

City pulled it back early in the second half. Carlos Borges paced past Marc Jurado on the left wing and cut it across for Sodje to score his second from close-range. That pairing should have scored an equaliser soon after but Sodje headed wide.

McNeill scores stunning fourth to wrap United win up

United tired as the game continued but McNeill wrapped it up late on, robbing the last defender and finishing fantastically into the top corner. City had not lost in the league since November 2019 (against United) and this result was an impressive one given how many players were missing for the Reds. It takes them six points clear at the top of the U18 Premier League.

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Life-long Manchester United fan with a strong interest in the club's academy. Host of the Manchester United Weekly Podcast and United Through Time. First game at Old Trafford was the 7-1 rout of AS Roma in 2007.