It wasn’t the start of the season that manager Neil Wood and his players wanted as Leicester defeated United U23’s in the opening game of the new season. The absence of various players, either on loan or those who left the team was duly noted. United this year have to settle for a younger team and expectations of many Reserves’ debut from our lads at U18’s level.
Ethan Laird is ruled out still injured alongside Reece Devine and D’Mani Mellor. Arnau Puigmal is also absent while the manager thought of making a few changes from the game against Leicester as despite playing well Luca Ercolani was on the bench. Teden Mengi and Ethan Galbraith may make an appearance for the first team in the matchday squad.
In a strange night for Manchester United U23’s, Liverpool Reserves take the three points with five goals scored as opposed to United three goals which weren’t a good enough response for Neil Wood’s Reds. Another frustrating game as the young Reds couldn’t help themselves in a unfortunate series of events. Four goals in the first half and another one in the second showed the Reds how things are being done. Here is the match report in a game full of goals, yellow cards, two red cards and heated debates:
United started the game with this XI: Mastny; Bejger, Fish, Bernard, Svidersky; McCann, Shoretire, Wellens; Helm, Mejbri.
Subs: Neville, Carney, Hugill, Ercolani, Stanley.
Manchester United started the game in the right way in Liverpool’s half as Elanga and Helm were exploiting and testing their defence. Despite being an inexperienced side the start of the game was promising from them. Mejbri was one of the players that stood out as he was on the ball early on managing a few good runs, but without end product.
However, everything changed as Liverpool took the lead through Clarkson as Charlie McCann was caught on the ball and it seemed far too easy for the United opponents. Since taking the lead, Liverpool was more comfortable on the ball exploring in United’s half and the dominance was obvious.
The squad was once again without ideas as Liverpool took advantage of the moment and scored once again. Mejbri was caught on the ball and Woodburn scored an easy tap in making the result 2-0 in favour of Liverpool Reserves. Helm was brought down injured and was substituted from Joe Hugill who made his U23’s debut not long after making a brilliant performance with the U18’s. While not many chances were being created by United, Elanga was being United’s bright spark running down the wing, but he couldn’t do it all alone. Benefitting from these moment, Liverpool scored once again via Bearne.
Finally waking up, Manchester United’s best player in the first half was trying really hard to make something out of a painful game against Liverpool. Elanga was brought down twice in the space of 10 minutes but the referee didn’t give away and play on. In a perfectly executed free kick by Mejbri which wasn’t dealt by the keeper found Elanga free who scored from a close range.
Liverpool wasn’t finished in the first half as they once again scored with Bearne making it 4 – 1 for the visitors. Trying to save himself and the team from a shameful defeat, Wood took off Bejger for Luca Ercolani. As the Italian brought the experience in the right, a fifth goal was on the way for Liverpool, this time scored by Longstaff. The following minutes of the game showed a raised tension among players of both teams, being involved in a fight. Another fight surfaced as Liverpool’s first goalscorer was involved in a fight with Di’Shon Bernard and was sent off. Shoretire was also sent off as he pushed Clarkson to the ground.
Mejbri once again was being on the referee’s nerves as it he was involved in a heated debate with a Liverpool player and was shown a yellow card, an event that was coming as the talented 17-year-old had issues controlling his nerves. Just before this, the player scored a beautiful to make it 2-5. The fight wasn’t over as Mastny made two brilliant saves and two minutes before the end Charlie McCann scored a superb goal cutting down in the left wing with an excellent finish.
Over and done, it was another defeat at the end of the night for United Reserves.