Manchester United’s u18s travelled down to Birmingham today to kick off their Premier League Cup campaign.
In the warm and sunny weather, the match kicked off to a hot pace with United deploying a strong press.
Winning the loose ball in Birmingham’s third of the pitch, the ball fell to Sam Mather who turned and hit from 20 yards, leaving the keeper rooted in his spot due to a big deflection making it 1-0.
United had barely finished celebrating though when Birmingham City immediately hit back through a tidy finish from Kieran Wakefield just a minute later.
The action was just getting started as United were soon back in the lead after a delicate ball through from Dan Gore found Manni Norkett one on one with the keeper and calmly slotted to the bottom left.
Birmingham threatened to equalise immediately yet again when they forced a goal line clearance but it was actually United who would strike again within a minute, completely changing the momentum of the match.
A clearance into space had the Birmingham backline scrambling and the keeper misjudged the situation as he came running out but Norkett was first to the ball taking it around the keeper and rolling it into the open net from a wide angle.
Alejandro Garnacho then got into the action to make it 4-1 through a marvellous free kick at the edge of the box which he smashed into the top corner.
Shortly after the half time break, Birmingham grabbed a second after an error from United’s keeper Eric Hanbury. But despite clawing one back, Birmingham never threatened to turn the match around.
United’s pressing caused trouble for Birmingham again in the 73rd minute forcing a turnover which Mather used to quickly play in Garnacho on the left who’s side foot across the goal into the bottom right left the keeper no chance.
Two minutes later Garnacho was rounding off his hat-trick when he came in from the left and burst straight through the Birmingham backline with an impressive turn of pace allowing him to easily slot the ball into the bottom corner again.
The still under 16 Malachi Sharpe was next in line to run in behind the Birmingham backline to latch onto another impeccable through ball from Mather and the Birmingham keeper was left stranded again as Sharpe made it seven for United.
The match was well and truly finished off in the final minute when Garnacho crossed for the on rushing Mather who headed off the bar but Norkett’s poaching skills saw him head in the rebound for his own hat-trick on the day.
United: Hanbury; Jurado, Bennett, Fredricson, Murray; Gore (Kambwala 70), Mainoo (Aljofree 75); Sharpe, Garnacho, Mather; Norkett
Subs not used: Myles, Nolan, McAllister