Manchester City’s Under 18 Premier League campaign ended on a frustrating note at the CFA as Liverpool took the spoils in an entertaining clash.

There was no lack of action with City keeper Cieran Slicker putting on a fine individual display and producing a string of fine saves.

City also created several opportunities but Jack Bearne’s 13th minute strike for the visitors ultimately proved the difference

What happened

Meeting again just four days after the FA Youth Cup final, both sides served up a fast-paced, action-packed first 45 minutes.

While only two of City’s starting eleven had featured in the final, the bulk of Liverpool’s cup-winning team were on duty once more.

And just as last Thursday, the Merseysiders proved formidable opponents and City keeper Slicker was twice called into action in the first five minutes to deny both Dixon-Bonner and Larouci.

At the other end a ricochet from a D’Margio Wright-Phillips trickled inches wide of the goal while Rowan McDonald forced a smart save from Liverpool keeper Jaros Vitezslav.

But on 13 minutes the visitors struck. Bobby Duncan’s accurate through ball split the City defence and striker Jack Bearne then rounded Slicker before scoring.

Liverpool were a constant threat in attack and CJ Egan-Riley’s block diverted a goal-bound effort from Neco Williams before Slicker had to be alert to smother a Duncan drive.

In response, Keke Simmonds was unlucky to see a 18-yard shot drift just wide before Noah Ohio ghosted in unmarked at the far post only to see his angled shot narrowly miss the target. 

City came out after the break seeking a response but Liverpool remained a potent threat with Dixon-Bonner firing inches over the bar before Slicker was forced to produce a superb save to deny Duncan.

The City keeper then served up the save of the day to deny Bearne after the Liverpool man evaded the Blues’ defence before shooting from 10 yards out.

And the visitors almost struck again 13 minutes from time as a dangerous Williams cross rebounded off a melee of players and struck the City post and then Egan-Riley had to be alert to clear a Bearne effort off the line.

City though enjoyed plenty of possession and territory and both Henri Ogunby and Keke Simmonds had clear shots on goal both of which were saved.

Five minutes from time City almost drew level as Nat Ogbeta’s powerful effort forced a fine stop from Liverpool keeper Vitezsalv before Slicker impressed once again with another fine stop to deny Longstaff.

Ultimately though Liverpool held firm to claim the spoils.

How we lined up

Cieran Slicker was in goal for City shielded by a back four of Henri Ogunby, Yeboah Amankwah, CJ Egan-Riley and Nat Ogbeta. Harvey Griffiths and Rowan McDonald were deployed in central midfield with D’Margio Wright-Phillips and Noah Ohio providing width on either flank. Keke Simmonds and Nabil Touaizi operated up-front for Gareth Taylor’s side.

What it means

City finished the season in eighth place in the table, having gained 29 points from our 22 games.