Man United U23s 1-1 Liverpool U23s
U18 Premier League, Carrington
February 9, 2019
Goals: Elanga 88′; Bernard OG 30′
The Reds met their bitter rivals at the Aon Training Complex, attempting to gain revenge for their Premier League Cup exit last month, when they saw a 2-0 lead evaporate and a 3-2 defeat inflicted.
Barry Lewtas’ side had found themselves down to 10 men in each of the last five meetings, highlighting the need for clear heads in an intense clash.
There were five changes from the the team that faced United last time around—Liverpool’s most recent game, following the postponement of last weekend’s match against Stoke.
Ben Williams replaced Viteszlav Jaros in goal, while Remi Savage, Niall Brookwell, Jake Cain and Fidel O’Rourke came in for Yasser Larouci, Rhys Williams, Matteo Ritaccio and Bobby Duncan.
Before kickoff, Lewtas’ side were one point behind leaders Everton with two games in hand, with top spot there for the taking.
A United win would see them leapfrog their opponents, however.
- Lewtas make five changes after cup defeat to rivals
- Bernard own goal puts the Reds ahead at half-time
- Brookwell & Bernard both sent off in the second half
- Elanga earns United a point late on
- Liverpool go level with leaders Everton on goal difference
A weakened Liverpool side were up against it with formidable opponents, with a strong wind not helping in the early exchanges.
Captain Paul Glatzel was inches away from getting on the end of a superb O’Rourke cross, as the Reds created the first chance of the game.
Jake Cain was then denied by James Thompson during a good period for the visitors.
United threatened sporadically, often on the counter-attack, but Lewtas’ youngsters were dealing well with their rivals.
Liverpool took the lead in the 30th minute after Di’Shon Bernard diverted Jack Walls’ cross into his net—it was fully merited.
The dangerous Mason Greenwood fired over the crossbar and then shot narrowly wide, as United looked for an immediate equaliser.
Aliou Traore was another to miss the target for United, who enjoyed a more productive spell prior to the half-time whistle.
Ethan Galbraith shot straight at Williams and Largie Ramazani drilled over, as United made a good start to the second half.
Williams denied his namesake Brandon Williams expertly with his legs and then thwarted own goal villain Bernard seconds later.
Incredibly, Liverpool received a sixth red card in as any many matches against United, after Brookwell received his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Leighton Clarkson saw a wayward attempt fizz over the crossbar, but it was a case of attack vs. defence in the final quarter of proceedings.
Patrik Raitanen and Ritaccio replaced O’Rourke and Luis Longstaff respectively, as Liverpool looked to clinch a precious victory.
James Garner almost levelled the scores with a curling strike and Bernard’s miserable afternoon was then compounded with five minutes left, following a sending off of his own.
Anthony Elagna equalised in the 88th minute, sadly, having burst into the penalty area and squeezed a shot under Williams.
Ritaccio hit the bar in a frantic finale, but Liverpool had to settle for a share of the spoils.
They are now level on points with Everton with a game in hand, but the Blues remain top on goal difference.
TIA Man of the Match: Fidel O’Rourke
Liverpool U18s: Man United: B.Williams; Walls, Savage, Brookwell, Boyes; Dixon-Bonner (Bearne 81′); Clarkson, Cain, Longstaff (Ritaccio 76′); Glatzel, O’Rourke (Raitanen 68′)
Subs not used: Jaros, Turner
Next Match: Wigan (H) – FA Youth Cup – Wednesday, February 13, 7pm (GMT)