Second-placed Manchester United could not close the gap to leaders Sunderland in the U21 Premier League Division One as they lost 2-0 to Everton on Monday.
Goals either side of half-time from Mason Holgate and Calum Dyson sealed the three points for the Toffees and moved them up into third in the league standings.
Elsewhere, Division Two leaders Derby County drew 1-1 with West Ham United, while Brighton & Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers played out a 0-0 stalemate.
Here are the final scores from Monday's U21 fixtures:
|Derby County||1-1||West Ham United|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||0-0||Wolverhampton Wanderers|
Here's what the table looks like following the results:
|2.||Manchester United U21||11||8||1||2||25:11||25|
|5.||Manchester City U21||11||5||3||3||22:17||18|
|2.||Aston Villa U21||16||8||4||4||19:20||28|
|4.||West Brom U21||14||6||6||2||17:11||24|
|5.||West Ham U21||16||7||3||6||27:26||24|
|6.||Stoke City U21||16||7||1||8||17:18||22|
|9.||Newcastle Utd U21||15||4||5||6||22:26||17|
And here are the upcoming fixtures:
|Feb. 5||1 p.m.||Arsenal vs. Brighton & Hove Albion|
|Feb. 5||7 p.m.||Fulham vs. West Bromwich Albion|
|Feb. 7||2 p.m.||Liverpool vs. Manchester City|
|Feb. 7||3 p.m.||Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Derby County|
Weather forced a late change in venue as Monday's Division One match was moved to Everton's Finch Farm complex and was played behind closed doors, per the hosts:
UNDER-21s: Tonight’s U21 game v @ManUtd at Southport is OFF and now being played behind closed doors at the training ground.— Everton (@Everton) February 1, 2016
Both clubs provided details of their respective starting lineups ahead of kick-off:
U21s: #mufc v Everton (A): J.Pereira; Fosu-Mensah, Love, Williams, Riley; Weir, Willock, Redmond, Harrop, Januzaj; Keane.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 1, 2016
The Toffees started much the brighter in blustery conditions and were rewarded just after the half-hour when Holgate headed Everton ahead from Kieran Dowell's excellent cross.
The Red Devils were positive in response and Joe Riley fired over the bar as he looked for the equaliser ahead of half-time.
Devonte Redmond then rippled the side-netting after an Adnan Januzaj corner, but United were still trailing when the break came.
The visitors knew they could close the gap at the top of Division One to a single point with a victory, and they started the second half on the front foot, looking to get themselves back into the game.
However, they failed to find an opening and Dyson put the game to bed 10 minutes from time as he nodded home at the far post from Sam Byrne's delivery.
The Red Devils could find no way back in and they fell to just their second defeat of the season following a feisty affair, per United:
U21s: FT - Everton 2 #mufc 0. Goals by Holgate and Dyson inflict a rare defeat on the Reds in a full-blooded contest behind closed doors.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 1, 2016
Everton have now gone five games unbeaten in the league and face Chelsea next up, while United will look to bounce back when they visit Norwich City on Feb. 8.
At St George's Park the goalscoring action all came in the second half as Derby's Shaquille McDonald headed a late equaliser to force a point following Luka Belic's opener.