EDS & Academy

Iberian duo fire Blues to fifth round

pozo and lopes
FA Youth Cup
FA Youth Cup
Thu 10 Jan
Five days after stealing FA Cup plaudits, Marcos Lopes was at it again at the Etihad Stadium.

The Portuguese tyro returned to the scene of his headline grabbing cameo against Watford to help the boy Blues into the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup.

Jose Angel Pozo was also on the score sheet as City ousted Burnley - United's conquerors - 2-0 on an impressive night for the Academy.

Thick freezing fog in the Manchester area wasn’t enough to deter 2,570 fans from taking advantage of free entry for seasoncard holders and low ticket prices for fans looking to catch a glimpse of the future.

Burnley had taken 1,000 supporters to Old Trafford in the last round and they showed up in numbers again, licking their lips at the prospect of a second big name scalp after dumping Manchester United out in the last round.

Attilio Lombardo and Adam Sadler opted to make just one change from the u18 side that dispatched Sunderland at Edgeley Park in the last round, bringing in England youth international right-back Shay Facey for Belgian defender Mathias Bossaerts.

That meant that there was a place for Portuguese forward Marcos “Rony” Lopes, back at the scene of his debut goal for the first-team in the FA Cup win over Watford.

The visitors flew out of the blocks and were first to force an effort on goal after 2 minutes when City captain Karim Rekik was pick-pocketed by Gilchrist who laid it on to Jamie Frost whose finish was anything but ice cool.

The first period’s best chance was to fall the home side’s way, after Lopes seized on an undercooked backpass from Alex Whitmore and squared for Pozo who couldn’t get his foot around the ball to convert from six yards out.

fa youth cup

It was a half reminiscent of what we’ve seen at times from the first-team this season – domination of possession: check, the lion's share of the chances: check, a deep lying defensive opposition: check, dangerous-looking counters from that opposition: check.

However, if anything, Burnley’s defensive intentions became more pronounced in the second period, with the two banks of four content to hunker down and repel City’s attacking raids - though legs started to tire.

The most likely source of a deadlock breaker was between the Iberian axis of Lopes and Pozo who began to find one another after half-time and in the 70th minute they combined to great effect but the Spaniard perhaps hesitated for too long and the keeper closed the angle and saved. 

Seven minutes later, his Portuguese teammate was in a less forgiving mood.

Lopes picked up the ball just inside the opposition half and sped for goal, embarking on a weaving slalom through the Burnley defence before slotting home with the coolness of an old stager at the same end as his goal against Watford.

It was a strike all of his own making and capped a memorable week in the life of the player – possibly the first City player to have ever scored an FA Cup and FA Youth Cup goal in a matter of days.

pozo and lopes

Not to be outdone, Pozo chipped in with a jinking solo goal all of his own 10 minutes later, bamboozling the Burnley defence with the kind of intricate footwork he’d shown all night and opening his body to bend the ball around Jakovlek.

Two spectacular goals to light up an entertaining evening at the Etihad Stadium and send the Blues safely through to the fifth round.


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