It was a game of great quality and utter chaos at time. It twisted in every direction but in the end Manchester United came out on top against Liverpool and thus moved to the top of the U18 Premier League.
The Reds, playing at home at the Aon Training Complex in Carrington, dominated the first half. Goals came from Charlie Wellens and Charlie McNeill. But Liverpool mounted an impressive comeback in the second half to take a 3-2 lead. United reacted fantastically to going behind and staged their own comeback to finish 4-3 winners with further goals from Joe Hugill.
Manchester United go top of U18 Premier League
Charlie Wellens provided United’s early lead. Floating in from the right flank and into the centre of the box, Noam Emeran did well to find him with the pull back from the left and Wellens finished calmly past Ojazynski.
Liverpool threatened to equalise soon after. Dominic Corness struck the crossbar with a left-footed free-kick. Radek Vitek then had to save at point-blank range and Rhys Bennett shows good reactions to clear the loose ball.
Noam Emeran dominates first half in brilliant display vs Liverpool U18
At the other end, Emeran hurried past his man once again but this time nobody latched onto the end of his ball across the six-yard box. Charlie McNeill showed good footwork on the right of the box, cut onto his left foot and provided a decent shot. Liverpool’s ‘keeper saved well.
United moved into a two-goal lead with stunning quality. Noam Emeran led an efficient counter-attack. The Frenchman, in one of his best games for United, charged across the halfway line and clipped a perfect ball across the field for McNeill. The ex-City man finished well, as he does more often than not. It was a deserved lead for Neil Ryan’s side.
Video: Noam Emeran assists Charlie McNeill for United U18
It was Liverpool who came charging out of half-time. They took complete control of midfield and United were too slow to make changes, both to personnel and tactics.
Leighton Stewart scored his 12th of the season for Liverpool to get them back in the game. A long ball over the top of the United defence was unchallenged by Bennett and Stewart took advantage, slotting it under Vitek. Three minutes later, a fierce drive from the same player had to be saved by Vitek again. From the ensuing corner, he was called into action once more. It proved a busy half for the Czech goalkeeper.
Liverpool mount impressive comeback in second half
When a cross came looping over in the 63rd minute, Vitek failed to catch. He lost his footing and prodded the ball unintentionally into the path of Morton who made the game level.
Stewart put Liverpool in front. United could not cope. But the third goal for the away side was the wake-up call United needed.
United U18 wake up late on to secure stunning victory
McNeill was replaced by Savage and United regained some control of midfield. Emeran led the charge again. His powerful shot was parried by Ojazynski and Hugill was on the spot to finish.
With six minutes of normal timing, United completed their own comeback. Hugill again.
In the right place in the box, as always. Savage’s shot fell to the English forward, signed from Sunderland in the summer, and he finished into the bottom right corner. United looked for a fifth to wrap the game up but required Vitek to come up with two big saves to ensure the victory.