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U18 Premier League: Nico O’Reilly scores brace as City triumphs over United in U18 mini-derby

[Credit: Manchester City]

Nico O’Reilly scored a brace as Manchester City beat rivals Manchester United 3-1 to stay top of the table and move one game away from maintaining the U18 Premier League North title.

O’Reilly opened the scoring after 12 minutes before adding a sensational second from long range shortly after. Louis Jackson pulled a goal back for United late on but Sebastian Naylor’s first goal at U18 level confirmed the points for City.

Manchester United entered the clash off the back of two successive draws in the league but having not played a competitive match for just short of a month.

Manchester City came into this mini-derby on an incredible run of 10 straight league wins since the turn of the year with the latest coming away at Middlesbrough last weekend.

United almost took the lead in the 5th minute when George Murray-Jones was quick off his line to deny Ethan Wheatley going through but the ball fell kindly for Finley McAllister.

The midfielder hit a first-time effort from a difficult angle towards goal but Jahmai Simpson-Pusey hooked it off the line to deny him.

City went in front shortly after when Ashton Muir’s cross evaded everyone to reach the far corner of the box and find Nico O’Reilly who fired a stunning effort in the near corner with his left foot.

[Credit: Manchester City]

The Citizens doubled their lead in the 30th minute when O’Reilly spotted Elyh Harrison off his line and clipped a sublime chip over the keeper and into the back of the net from over 40 yards out for his ninth league goal of the season.

United halved the deficit in the 80th minute when Ethan Williams whipped an inviting corner into the danger zone. Jackson got on the end of it and headed home from close range.

City restored the two-goal lead ten minutes later when Naylor whipped a free-kick around the wall and into the side netting to condemn United to their first home defeat of the season.

The victory maintains City’s place at the top of the U18 Premier League North with a one point lead over second place Sunderland. A victory for the Citizens in next week’s title decider between the top two would confirm them as champions.

United meanwhile sit in third place, over 20 points adrift of the two sides ahead of them and this defeat mathematically confirmed the end of their title chances despite their four games in hand.

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