Liverpool U18 3-3 Manchester United U18
Scorer(s): Rhian Brewster ’16, Glen McAuley ’19, Yan Dhanda ’54 – Callum Gribbin ’13, ’38, ’88 (pen)
#lfc XI: Atherton; Shariff (Lewis 77′), Owens, Parker, Johnston; Coyle, Camacho (Adekanyo 45′), Masterson, McAuley; Brewster, Dhanda.
#mufc XI: Moutha-Sebtaoui; Tanner, Kenyon, Warren, O’Connor; Whelan, Boonen, Buffonge (Hamilton 45’), Gomes; Burkart (Chong 52’), Gribbin.
A hattrick from Callum Gribbin, only his third game since returning from injury, included a late equalising penalty in a brilliant clash between Manchester United and Liverpool at under-18 level.
Gribbin gave United a 13th-minute lead, pouncing on a parry from Liverpool goalkeeper Atherton, who had saved from Indy Boonen. Liverpool, though, were awoken by the visitors’ early lead.
Rhian Brewster equalised, his third goal of the season, only three minutes later. The 16-year-old struck from outside the area after a good tackle from Liam Coyle began the attack for Liverpool. It was only another three minutes when Glen McAuley put the ball in the back of the net for the ninth time this season, stroking it past Moutha-Sebtaoui with composure, assisted by Yan Dhanda.
Moutha-Sebtaoui stopped the scoreline from growing further with the first of two penalty saves from Dhanda. Despite the hosts being on top, with the penalty just one example of that, Gribbin got his second of the game to make it level going into the break. Indy Boonen fed Gribbin through and the Englishman clipped it in off Atherton’s post seven minutes before half-time. Ethan Hamilton came on for DJ Buffonge for the second half, adding some much-needed power and steel to United’s midfield.
Having got an assist and missing a penalty, Dhanda thundered home an excellent drive to give the lead for Liverpool. Chances for goals for the hosts didn’t stop there. On top, they forced a foul out of Jake Kenyon for the second time in the match, and the referee awarded a second spotkick for Liverpool, with Kenyon sent off for his challenge on Rhian Brewster.
Brewster was tasked with beating Moutha-Sebtaoui from 12 yards this time, and he too failed, having missed a golden chance to make it 4-2 earlier too.
A third penalty of the match gave United a chance to take a point away from Liverpool in a dramatic and high-quality game. Gribbin took responsibility, with the chance for his hattrick, and delivered under pressure for his fourth goal of the season in only two games.
United face Derby County next weekend with kick-off at 12:00PM.