FA Youth Cup Att: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 7:00:00 PM
- Lloyd Wood
- Hanfrey Oliver 45’
- Nippard Pollock 76’
- Kurran-Browne Pardoe 64’
- Unused subs
- Plain, Bertrand
- Garcia (C) Amankwah 76’
- Knight Diounkou 76’
- F Dele-Bashiru Touaizi 70’
- F Nmecha
- Unused subs
- Bazunu, Ogunby.
Manchester City’s Under-18s produced a dominant display from start to finish at Bournemouth to book our ticket through to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals.
The Blues struck twice in each half to round off what was another assured display from Gareth Taylor’s side who continue to go from strength to strength, having already sealed a place in the Premier League Under-18 final.
Felix Nmecha, Eric Garcia, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru and Ben Knight all found the target with City proving too strong in every department for the hosts who were contesting their first quarter-final in 50 years.
Still unbeaten in 2019, that confidence was borne out right from the kick-off as City slipped straight into their groove.
Our passing was crisp and movement fluid with Bournemouth struggling to gain any meaningful possession.
City threatened twice inside the opening five minutes with Taylor Richards seeing a shot whistle just wide before our dominance bore fruit with an eighth minute goal.
Felix Nmecha collected possession 25 yards out and then cleverly feinted inside to open up the angle before dispatching a stunning curling shot inside the right-hand post.
Fisayo Dele-Bashiru almost doubled our lead, his low drive forcing a smart save from Cherries keeper Callum Ward with City in complete control.
However, in the next breath, out of nowhere, Bournemouth drew level with their very first attack.
The Blues failed to deal with Connor Kurran-Browne’s teasing cross and the ball fell to left back Tom Hanfrey who smashed home an unstoppable drive to fire up a noisy home crowd.
It took the wind out of City’s collective sails briefly, but we soon assumed complete control again with Bournemouth constantly massing eight or nine players behind the ball.
Fisayo Dele-Bashiru warmed the keeper’s gloves with a stringing shot and Ward needed to react smartly to parry away a long-range Tommy Doyle drive.
Bernabe then saw his angle drive saved by Ward while a Doyle piledriver was deflected wide.
Finally, however, our pressure told and we deservedly regained the lead on 38 minutes.
Skipper Eric Garcia literally rose to the occasion as he headed home Doyle’s excellent corner to send City in at the break holding the advantage.
City’s dominance continued straight after the re-start and the Blues came within inches of adding to their lead on 51 minutes.
Ben Knight headed in another delicious Doyle corner but Nathan Moriah-Welsh rose in the nick of time to clear the goalbound effort off the line.
Just shy of the hour the Blues were denied once more. Richards produced a neat twist and turn to open up space in the box bit just as he was about to pull the trigger Bournemouth skipper Camp slid in with a crucial tackle.
But on 62 minutes our crucial third goal finally arrived.
Bernabe, as he had all night, found time and space on the left flank and pulled back an inviting ball which was side-footed home with mathematical precision by Dele-Bashiru.
Holding a crucial two-goal advantage the Blues continued to assert their dominance and full-back Rowan McDonald almost got in on the scoring act, seeing a low drive strike the outside of the post.
We didn’t have to wait long for that fourth goal to arrive though.
Knight then saw his fine individual display rewarded as he rounded off another wonderful attack by curling a fine shot home to set the seal on a superb’s night work by the Blues.
Next stop the semi-finals!
How we lined up
Louie Moulden was in goal shielded by a back four of Rowan McDonald, skipper Eric Garcia, Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Jeremie Frimpong. Tommy Doyle, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, Ben Knight and Adrian Bernabe were deployed in midfield with Taylor Richards and Felix Nmecha up-front.
What it means
We are through to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup where we will be at home to West Brom who beat Everton 4-3 in their quarter-final clash this evening.
City’s Under-18s are back in Premier League Under 18 action on Saturday when we travel to Everton, kick-off 11am.