Manchester City U18s boss Lee Carsley has hailed goalkeeper Aro Muric after his man of the match performance in the 2-0 victory over Chelsea.
The Blues were missing a number of regulars – Jadon Sancho and Matt Smith played for the EDS on Friday while Joel Latibeaudiere is injured – and Carsley knew just how important it was that the big Swiss shot-stopper stood up to the task.
He said: “We knew that our goalkeeper was going to have to have a good game and that was the case, not just with his penalty save. Overall, we’re pleased with the win and the way the team has come through the match.
“I’ve been impressed with him every day. He trains at such a high level and he’s got such a fantastic attitude and you want to see players like that getting on in the game. He’s very disciplined and he’s committed to being a top player.”
View highlights of the first leg of the FA Youth Cup semi-final below...
City’s absentees meant that there were chances for younger members of the academy to step up and play in a match that could be seen as a dress rehearsal for the FA Youth Cup final.
Argentine winger Benjamin Garre made his City debut while U16s Jeremie Frimpong, Bobby Duncan and Richards all played.
“I was really impressed with them. I see them every day so I know when I put them on the pitch that they can do a job.
“I knew that the likes of Benjamin, Bobby and Taylor would be comfortable on the ball and be able to handle the physicality that Chelsea threw at us. We’ve used the majority of the squad and they’ve all come up trumps.”
It’s a quick turnaround for City’s youngsters, who travel to Arsenal on Wednesday, and Carsley expects a similar test.
“They’ll set up in a similar way to us unless they change drastically and they’ve got some good individuals. It will be another real tough test,” said Carsley.
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