EDS & Academy

Richards and Matondo shine as U18s beat Reading

RICHARDS: City's U16s midfielder started from the left of the midfield three against Reading
Premier League U18 Cup
Premier League U18 Cup
Thu 14 Mar
Read how Lee Carsley's side fared when they hosted their Reading counterparts at the City Football Academy...

What happened...

A Manchester City side containing several U16 players claimed a 4-2 victory over Reading in the U18 Premier League.

A brace from Taylor Richards and strikes from Lorenzo Gonzalez and Rabbi Matondo sealed a second win in the Merit Group stage for an inexperienced City side at a sunny City Football Academy.

City wasted no time asserting their authority on the match and a neat move down the right involving U16s winger Matondo ended with an emphatic finish from Gonzalez.

The Royals were back on level terms midway through the first half as winger Jack Nolan came in from the left and curled an unstoppable effort in to the top corner of Pawel Sokol’s goal.

A war of attrition followed until Matondo played Richards through and the midfielder fired his effort inside the far post just ahead of the interval.

City were in the ascendancy from the off in the second period and it told just after the hour mark when Matondo was on the end of a teasing Gonzalez cross.

A number of changes followed from that point - including the return of captain Joel Latibeaudiere after a long injury lay-off – and it momentarily gave Reading the upper hand.

Royals substitute Jazz Wallace found the bottom corner in the 75th minute to set up a tense finish but a 30-yard thunderbolt from Richards in the dying minutes sealed the victory for Carsley’s City.

View the recent U18 Premier League victory over Chelsea here...

WATCH: Man City u18s v Chelsea u18s Highlights

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What it means...

Lee Carsley’s side have eight points from five matches in the Merit Group A stage of the Premier League and sit in fourth.

City will travel to Blackburn on Saturday for their penultimate fixture in this year’s U18 Premier League.

Key moment...

It had been a battle for space following Reading’s leveller but when the ball fell loose in midfield, the movement of Richards and the vision of Matondo were crucial to finding City’s second route to goal.

Once the space was created, the individual talent of the U16 pair took over.

                        BOLTON: City's right winger lined up in an unfamiliar right-back role
BOLTON: City's right winger lined up in an unfamiliar right-back role


Man of the match...

Rabbi Matondo – In his first start for City’s U18s, the winger demonstrated his full range of exciting talents.

The youngster’s turn of pace forced Reading to drop deeper throughout the match and looks set to worry full-backs all over the country in next season’s U18 Premier League.

How they lined up...

Lee Carsley made a host of changes for City. Pawel Sokol took Aro Muric's place in goal.

Luke Bolton, usually a winger, started at right-back with Nathaniel Ogbeta and captain Ed Francis in the centre and Tyreke Wilson at left-back.

Iker Pozo sat at the base of the midfield behind Matt Smith and Taylor Richards while Benjamin Garre and Rabbi Matondo flanked central striker Lorenzo Gonzalez.

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