Manchester United’s youngsters returned to the summit of the Premier League U-18 North following a 6-0 victory over Sunderland at the Aon Training Complex on Saturday afternoon.
Our neighbours Manchester City were resident at the top of the table courtesy of goal difference before the kick-off but Neil Ryan’s lads ensured they we restored as league leaders with goals from Noam Emeran (2), Alejandro Garnacho (2), Charlie McNeill & Dillon Hoogewerf.
Dry and bright, but with plenty of threatening dark clouds above, were the prevailing conditions as the game got underway with United looking to complete a more than acceptable week, which included an away 1-0 league at Liverpool and a 2-0 victory over Salford City to book a place in the FA Youth Cup fourth round.
Currently in a lowly spot in the league table, Sunderland belied that status as the game unfolded in true competitive fashion.
Watch how Noam Emeran broke the deadlock with a stunning finish.
United were enjoying the best of the chances – McNeill thwarted more than once by Black Cats ‘keeper Lord – but the visitors also had their moments of encouragement in front of goal.
Sunderland went close when McKenzie Dicicco fired narrowly wide and shortly afterwards when an attempted clearance by United goalkeeper Dermot Mee saw the ball strike Foster before disappearing over the crossbar.
The Reds began to monopolise the play but finding a way through the Wearsider’s stubborn defence was still proving to be a stumbling block.
United continued to knock on the door and, in the 33rd minute, it was Emeran, who had moved from the left to right wing, and his blistering pace saw him outstrip Sunderland full-back Bainbridge before hitting a fantastic shot that zoomed into the far top corner of the net.
It was tough luck on the Black Cats who’d made it so difficult for United but there was no stopping Emeran’s terrific finish.
The lengthy wait for the opening goal was not to be repeated after the restart as United proceeded to cut loose with an astonishing scoring sequence, which saw five goals netted in just 17 minutes.
Prolific striker McNeill’s angled drive made it 2-0 after 48 minutes, which acted as the dam buster for United’s ravenous forwards.
Garnacho added a couple to the tally in the 53rd and 65th minutes with Hoogewerf getting his name on the scoresheet, before Emeran doubled his personal haul for the afternoon.
It was another excellent performance from United’s youngsters at the Aon Training Complex.
Understandably, Sunderland were shell-shocked and their bruising experience was compounded 10 minutes from the end when Dicicco was sent off after clattering Garnacho.
A classic game of two halves and most definitely one that the Black Cats will be determined to consign to ‘the bad day at office’ file.
United: Mee; Hughes, Jackson, Hardley (Murray 74), Jurado; Hansen (Mainoo 68), Savage; Garnacho, Hoogewerf, Emeran (Wellens 64); McNeill
Substitutes not used: Guadagno, Gore
Goals: Emeran 33, 63, McNeill 48, Hoogewerf 58, Garnacho 53, 65