Brian Barry-Murphy’s young charges overcame the blow of falling behind inside five minutes to secure a superb triumph in our opening group game.
And City set the seal on a deserved victory – and the all-important three points – with a marvellous second half showing.
Tai Sodje rounded off a stunning counter-attack on the hour to make it three before Sam Edozie added a fourth on 77 minutes.
McAtee then completing his brace and a five star City display.
On a glorious afternoon at the Academy Stadium, City were looking to make a quickfire start at the start of our first European campaign since the 2019/20 season.
Instead however it was the visitors who struck first inside four minutes.
A quickfire Leipzig counter-attack saw Joscha Woscz find space on the left wing and move the ball inside where the unmarked Sidney Raebiger slotted home from 15 yards past Mikki Van Sas’s inside post.
City were then indebted to Van Sas who came out smartly to deny Raebiger from claiming a second on eight minutes after the Leipzig youngster found space on the right side of the box.
The midfielder showed just why he had been voted PL2 Player of the Month for August, ghosting onto the edge of the Leipzig area before drilling home a superb 18-yard left foot shot to draw us level.
Leipzig ‘keeper Fabian Eutinger then produced a superb reflex save to dip Josh Wilson-Esbrand’s goalbound deflected shot over the bar as City upped the ante.
And our pressure was rewarded on 26 minutes when we took the lead thanks to an Oscar Bobb penalty.
Referee Mads Kristoffersen awarded the spot kick after Darko Gyabi had been felled in the box by Gustav Madsen after some superb skill from Bobb and the winger subsequently made no mistake from 12 yards, sending the keeper the wrong way.
City were unlucky not to add a third on the stroke of half time. A wonderful, weaving run from Sam Edozie saw the left winger cut inside before unleashing a powerful shot which went narrowly wide.
Edozie was then denied again by Eutinger three minutes after restart after another sumptuous through ball from McAtee as City sought to extend our advantage.
And only a desperate last-gasp block from David Lelle prevented Tai Sodje from prodding home Edozie’s inviting cross.
However, City’s dominance was eventually rewarded through a quite superb third goal on the hour.
Great work by Wilson-Esbrand put in Edozie who timed a through ball to the overlapping McAtee to perfection.
The skipper then executed a pin-point cross past the keeper to allow Sodje the easiest of tap-ins to set the seal on a wonderful move.
Edozie’s fine display was then rewarded on 73 minutes when he applied the finish to another dazzling move to further extend our lead, with substitute Micah Hamilton picking the winger out.
And McAtee set the seal on a five-star display by despatching his second and City's fifth seven minutes from time.
How we lined up
Mikki van Sas was in goal shielded by a back four of CJ Egan-Riley, Luke Mbete, Finley Burns and Josh Wilson-Esbrand. Shea Charles, Darko Gyabi and James McAtee formed our midfield trio with Sam Edozie, Tai Sodje and Oscar Bobb deployed up-front.
What it means
The result leaves City ideally placed with a maximum three points haul after our opening group game.
Our next UEFA Youth League assignment sees us travel to take on Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, September 28th, kick-off 1pm.
Our Elite Development Squad are back in Premier League 2 action on Saturday when we play host to Crystal Palace Under-23s.
Kick-off at the Academy Stadium is at 3pm and, as always, we’ll carry comprehensive coverage of the game on mancity.com and our Twitter site @ManCityAcademy.
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