Manchester United’s under-18s played their final game of 2022 against Sunderland yesterday at Carrington, winning 1-0.

The match saw United take on the team in first place in the division, with Sunderland only losing once in 10 matches prior to the game.

United’s young side fully deserved the victory, dominating possession from start to finish and rarely looking troubled, however, struggling to find a way through.

Eventually the deadlock was broken late in the second half via FA Youth Cup winner Dan Gore.

Manchester United U18 v Sunderland U18: U18 Premier League
Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Dan Gore shows quality

Gore, 18, scored his first goal for United’s under-18 side when he was 16 and played a key role as a starter in the FA Youth Cup last season.

The central midfielder was outstanding this season in the third round win over Palace as the team began their quest to retain the trophy.

He showed his quality against Sunderland, sweeping home a cross from Ethan Williams on the right, who had been a threat all game and has made an impressive step up from under-16 level this season.

Gore could have had another, with an excellent line-breaking dribble through midfield, but could not get his shot on target.

This was actually Gore’s first goal of the season – in just his second league game – and was a good way for him to sign off an excellent 2022.

He has already made his under-21 debut, playing six games at this level this season and three in the EFL Trophy, has trained with the first team, and was part of Erik ten Hag’s 29-man squad for the recent trip to Spain.

While he did not get minutes against Cadiz or Real Betis, it will have been an invaluable experience, and he seems to have returned in inspired form. The England under-18 international will look to have a big 2023.

The game saw centre-back Willy Kambwala continue his return with his second game of the season, keeping a second clean sheet, while top scorer Manni Norkett was a threat throughout the second half after coming on at half-time.

The victory moves United up to third in the table with three games in hand on Sunderland. A busy year ahead is in store for this talented group.

The team’s next league fixture is against Blackburn on January 14, although there is also an FA Youth Cup tie to be scheduled.

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