Manchester City produced a five-star performance in a 5-0 victory against Blackburn Rovers in the Under-18s Premier League North at the City Football Academy.

Ben Wilkinson’s men produced an attacking first half display with goals from Alfie Harrison, Dan Ogwuru and Joel Ndala put us firmly in control by half time.

Harrison grabbed two identical goals in the second half, as he converted finishes from close range to complete his hattrick.

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WHAT HAPPENED

After a two-week break, our youngsters were on the search for back-to-back home victories

Rovers made it a difficult start for us in the opening phases of the game, with all their players camped behind the ball.

The first attempt on target landed to Joel Ndala following some fine wing play but his curling shot fell straight into Will Blease’s palms.

City were on the ascendancy, as Farid Alfa-Ruprecht was next to test the Rovers shot stopper, with his volley being well saved.

The breakthrough finally came, as Ndala controlled the ball well on the left before he laid it off to Tom Galvez and his sweeped cross met Alfie Harrison whose looped header evaded the goalkeeper to give City the lead.

The Lancashire outfit responded soon after, as Dominik Biniek’s long distanced shot went high and wide of True Grant’s goal.

After further sustained pressure for Ben Wilkinson’s side, we doubled our advantage.

Ndala held off his defender before playing through Dan Ogwuru who dribbled round the Blackburn central defender and fired an effort across goal and into the back of the net.

Just before the half time whistle, we struck a third, as the ball bounced around the visitor’s box before Ndala struck on the volley which was too strong for Blease in the Rovers goal, who was unable to keep it out.

Blackburn were controlling proceedings a lot more in the second half, denying us of building any rhythm in the game.

This was left gaps at the back, which we exploited when Seb Naylor joined the attack down the left and squared a ball to Harrison, who cut inside before he rolled the ball past Blease to score his second and our fourth.

Substitute, Ashton Muir did superbly to drive with the ball and he cut inside before his deflected shot ricocheted off the post.

Moments later, we were to get our fifth, as Matty Whittingham raced down the wing before he played a low cross to Harrison who converted his hattrick from close range.

City nearly grabbed a sixth late on with Ogwuru, who rounded his defender before his right footed shot rattled the post.

HOW WE LINED UP

True Grant was selected in goal for this game, with a back four of Jacob Wright, Jahmai Simpson-Pusey, Max Alleyne, and Tom Galvez protecting him.

Charlie Gray sat in front of the defence, with Farid Alfa-Ruprecht and Alfie Harrison playing further ahead in a midfield three.

Dan Ogwuru played as the sole striker, with Matty Whittingham and Joel Ndala taking their positions on the flanks.

Manchester City U18s

Starting XI: Grant, Wright, Simpson-Pusey, Alleyne, Galvez, Gray, Alfa-Ruprecht, Harrison, Whittingham, Ogwuru, Ndala

SUBS: Naylor, Wint, Heskey, Dada-Mascoll, Muir

Blackburn Rovers U18s

Starting XI: Blease, Duru, Powel, Litheriano, Olson, Caddick, M-Worrell, O’Grady, Chmiel, Biniek, Taylor

SUBS: Doherty, Honor, Farkas, Edmondson, Davies

WHAT IT MEANS

Back-to-back home victories for our Young outfit sees us climb up one space to third, but we have games in hand on the teams above us.

UP NEXT

Ben Wilkinson’s side take a break from league action next week as we take a trip to Norfolk to face Norwich in the Premier League U18s Cup.

Kick-off is scheduled for 11am (UK).

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Premier League U18 Cup

Norwich
Norwich City

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