Manchester United demolition highlights Man City U21 progress off the pitch

Manchester City scored six goals against Manchester United for the second time this season in Premier League 2, but their head coach was more pleased with the discipline and mentality they displayed than the goals they scored.

After taking a two-goal lead within 15 minutes, City were buoyed by a red card for United defender Sonny Aljofree on Saturday and a quick third to end the contest. United would try to limit the goals against them from then on, bringing in 36-year-old manager Tom Huddlestone, and the second half was a much slower affair.

Still, City remained patient, adding three later to complete their defeat, and head coach Brian Barry-Murphy decided to focus on his team’s mental toughness.

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City had beaten United 6-1 in the reverse game, a scoreline that Barry-Murphy felt gave a false impression of the game, and he praised his players for learning the lessons of that game and also for their recent defeat in the UEFA Youth League in Hajduk Split.

“Despite the outside perception, I think we had a very healthy respect for the opposition,” Barry-Murphy told MEN Sport. “We were clear that we felt that the score in the relevant match was a bit misleading because it was difficult for long periods. We have very dangerous players who can score goals late in the game when they stretched and did it.”

“So we were aware of that and you saw how much we respected the opponents for how we played in the first half. The game obviously changed significantly when a man was sent off. Before that, our game was exceptional.”

“We had some moments out of possession that cost us in the first game. It’s normal, the rivals have quality. It was good for us to see that and how we’ve learned from that and we’ve understood it. In the first game we were a bit careless in some actions defensively, I really wanted to see how the players adapted to that and reacted very well.


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