EDS & Academy

Barry-Murphy: ‘I can’t wait for the knockout stages'

City boss Brian Barry-Murphy ‘can’t wait’ for the knockout stages of the UEFA Youth League after we ended our group campaign with a 1-0 victory over Sevilla.

We were already confirmed Group G winners following our 3-3 draw with Borussia Dortmund last time out going into Wednesday’s clash.

And we were able to maintain our unbeaten run in the competition so far with success against the Spanish side - extending our record to four wins and two draws across our six matches.

Our successful run in the competition means we progress into the last 16 for the first time since 2017/18.

In what was a match of few chances, Sevilla defender Alvari Garamendi’s own goal on the cusp of half-time turned out to be the difference between the two sides.

And the prospect of competing in the knockout stages has left the Boss excited for what's to come

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“It was very satisfying, the players earned the right to play this game in a celebration, I suppose, of what they’ve done in the group stages,” Barry-Murphy said.

“To get the victory in the end of what’s been an outstanding campaign is testament to the lads and their performances.

“I can’t wait for the knockout stages to come around in February or March.

“I was very pleased. It probably didn’t look like a spectacular game on the eye but in a weird way I enjoyed the challenge that Sevilla posed us and for our players to adapt and overcome that in another game was a significant part of our journey in Europe.

“I’m very satisfied at the end of the day."

For much of the meeting with Sevilla, City often had a high percentage of possession while trying to break down a stubborn defence.

At full-time we recorded 75 percent possession to the visitors’ 25.

And Barry-Murphy described how his players have merited facing defensive performances due to their record in the competition this term.

He added: “Our players have earned the right to face that type of performance in Europe and I think we need to understand the opponent can do whatever they want to do.

“So for them to set up in that manner was entirely their prerogative and we needed to find a way to overcome that and we did today.

“I’m very, very pleased with the lads and I’m excited for the next part of the campaign.”

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