U21s: Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United – Premier League champions sign off with a loss

by Tracey Germaine

Manchester United finished off their title-winning season with a disappointing 3-1 loss to local rivals Manchester City. It was a game of two halves, with United taking the lead in the first half through Ashley Fletcher, but City came back in the second half, with two goals from Iheanacho and one from Angelino to secure the victory.

Manchester City gave u21 Barclays Premier League champions United a guard of honour at City’s Academy Stadium in the final game of the season. Having won the league with a match to spare, the Reds were able to give Tyler Reid and Matty Willock their first starts at U21s level, while Tom Thorpe wore the captain’s armband for what is almost surely his last appearance in a United shirt.


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Thorpe almost gave United the lead after just four minutes when he had a chance with a header from a corner, unfortunately he wasn’t able to direct his header on target. It was a sign of things to come in Thorpe’s performance as he covered almost every blade of grass on the pitch. He later combined with Ben Pearson in the middle of the park however, Thorpe’s reverse back-heel to Joe Rothwell was cut out.

Despite plenty of possession there weren’t many opportunities created by United. This prompted the City fans to tell Ashley Fletcher that he was “sh!t Danny Welbeck” towards the end of the half. Fletcher responded in the most appropriate way, scoring in the 44th minute after lovely work from Andy Kellett coming in from the left flank. That goal was Fletcher’s third in the last three consecutive games.


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Josh Harrop replaced Andy Kellett at half time in a surprise substitution given Kellett’s performance in the first half. That will possibly be the last time we see the on loan Bolton defender.

City came back into the game in the second half. Iheanacho scored the equaliser, gliding past Donald Love and slotting in past Kieran O’Hara. Just ten minutes later Angelino put City into the lead, with help from a slight deflection from Love.

United started to return to their impressive form of the first half however Iheanacho scored his second of the game with 10 minutes remaining to secure the victory for the blue side of Manchester. United gave u21 debuts to Ro-Shaun Williams and Callum Gribbin, bringing the total players used at U21s level this season to 46.

O’Hara made a very good save with moments to go however the final match of season unfortunately ended in defeat for Warren Joyce’s Manchester United.

Manchester United: O’Hara, Reid (Williams 71′), Thorpe (c), Love, Kellett (Harrop 46′), Willock, Pearson, James, Rothwell (Gribbin 77′), Goss, Fletcher.

Unused Substitutes: Henderson, El Fitouri.

Goal(s): Fletcher 44′.

Bookings: Pearson, Love.

Man of the Match: Tom Thorpe.

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