Manchester United U18s return to action with dramatic 4-3 win against Blackburn

Charlie McNeill resumed his rampant scoring record for Manchester United as the club’s under-18s returned from their winter break to beat Blackburn Rovers in dramatic fashion on Saturday lunchtime.

Formerly of Manchester City, McNeill re-joined United in the summer for a fairly significant fee. Two goals against Blackburn, both in the first half, take his season total up to eight. The 17-year-old has played nine games in the U18 Premier League.

Charlie McNeill has 8 goals in 9 games for United

McNeill’s first goal came in the first minute of the game, assisted by Charlie Savage. By half-time, United’s lead would have extended to a comfortable three, the second from McNeill and the third finished off by Noam Emeran, set up by Dillon Hoogewerf.

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

United were without a few key players who have been involved in the under-23s recently or injured; Joe Hugill, Shola Shoretire, Will Fish and Willy Kambwala. Louis Jackson, an under-15 centre-back, was involved in the under-18s squad for the first time. Under-16s Sam Murray and Kobbie Mainoo were on the bench.

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Zak Gilsenan scores second-half hat-trick for Blackburn

After the break, Blackburn got themselves back into the game. Zak Gilsenan scored a 26-minute hat-trick to draw the game level. United have been guilty of gifting away leads far too often at this level, often due to a lack of defensive composure.

But while that is true, it’s also true that United can show fantastic mentality. That was evident again at Blackburn on Saturday; Charlie Savage restoring United’s lead with an 88th-minute winner.

Late winner from Charlie Savage extends Manchester United lead at top of U18 Premier League

The three points extends United’s lead at the top of the U18 Premier League to six points. Liverpool are second while Manchester City, who have two games in hand, trail by nine points.

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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.