Man Utd 1
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- 11 February 2016 21:51
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
City EDS succumbed to a narrow defeat in the first under-21 Manchester derby of the season.
Joe Rothwell’s goal after 15 minutes proved to be the difference in a tight, cagey encounter between the U21 Premier League’s second and third placed teams.
City were slightly unfortunate not to get at least a draw out of an even game but, ultimately, the away side were unable to work United goalkeeper Joel Pereira on enough occasions to get on the scoresheet and earn the point.
Following Sunday afternoon’s emphatic win over Liverpool, EDS boss Simon Davies understandably opted for continuity with his line-up, making just one change to the starting XI.
It was a significant one too as Manu Garcia made his first start since the injury which kept him out for all of January after coming through his cameo in the win at Anfield unscathed.
James Horsfield dropped out of the side as City looked to string together three league consecutive wins for the first time this season and to close the gap on their neighbours in second to just four points.
It was the first of two u21 neighbourly squabbles in the space of ten days and it was the hosts who had the first chance of the game when Will Keane pounced upon a heavy touch, striding clear of the City defence but Angus Gunn was alive to the danger and smothered at the United striker’s feet.
Sadly, that proved to be just a temporary reprieve for the away side as United capitalised on their early dominance to take the lead with 15 minutes on the clock through Joe Rothwell.
City lost the ball on the left hand side and Keane held up the play before sliding the ball across to Rothwell who tucked it in into the corner.
Davies’s side very nearly found a swift response seven minutes later when Adarabioyo rose highest to meet an Angelino corner but his powerful goalbound header was flicked over the bar smartly by the United goalkeeper.
That was as much pressure as the home goal came under in a first period which was bereft of goalscoring opportunities at both ends, meaning City had a one-goal margin to overturn after the break.
Midfield skirmishing characterised the opening 15 minutes of the second half as two well organised sides were matched stride for stride by one another.
Davies went to his bench on the hour mark bringing on David Faupala and Cameron Humphreys for Bersant Celina and Manu Garcia.
Faupala wasted no time in getting involved in the action, working the ball out of his feet with his first touch and firing a shot that needed saving towards goal.
With time running out, Rodney Kongolo came off the bench but City's best chance of the night fell to Aleix Garcia in stoppage time but he could only fire straight at Pereira from an acute angle.
City will regroup and take on the league’s basement side Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Monday night.