Sunderland U18s 3 Manchester United U18s 1: Pybus double inspires young Cats

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Sunderland followed their impressive three-goal win at West Brom last week with another superb victory, beating Manchester United 3-1 in the Barclays U18 Premier League on Saturday.

They opened up with a goal after only 58 seconds.

Joel Asoro went down the right and centred with pinpoint accuracy for Dan Pybus to shoot against the bar and then head home the rebound.

United came back and only a tremendous save by Sunderland keeper Greg Purvis kept out a 20-yard piledriver from Callum Griffin.

But, in the 16th minute, the home side doubled the lead with a magnificent strike from Dan Wright. The midfielder looked up from the edge of the box, took aim and coolly sidefooted across the keeper high into the top corner.

The Wearsiders made it three after 25 minutes. Intricate footwork by Josh Maja put Pybus in on goal and the captain finished immaculately low into the corner.

Marcus Rashford was clear in a one-on-one for United, but Purvis was out fast to beat away his strong shot.

It had not been a 3-0 on the balance of play, which had been equal, but clinical finishing had put Sunderland almost out of sight.

The young Black Cats pushed the ball around easily in the second half, content to sit on the lead.

Nevertheless, Alex Storey had to get in a fine block to stifle the danger from another shot by Griffin, before more brilliant footwork by Maja put Alonso in, but his shot was blocked.

Maja missed another chance to make it four, but, in the 90th minute, Jake Kenyon did grab a consolation from short range for United.

Sunderland coach Elliott Dickman enthused: “I thought the first half was great with the ball and the second half great tactically too without the ball.”

Sunderland: Purvis, Lowrie, Hume, Wright (Graham 83), Taylor, Storey, Asoro, Pybus (Gamble 76), Nelson, Maja, Bale (Embleton 69). Subs not used: McCulloch, Poame