Manchester City ran out 4-1 victors against Liverpool at the City Football Academy to extend our lead at the top of the Under-18 Premier League North table to 10 points.

Justin Oboavwoduo scored to open the scoring two minutes in, before Alfie Harrison doubled our advantage as we went into half-time in front.

James McConnell pulled one back for the visitors before substitute Dan Ogwuru restored our two-goal lead.

And Oboavwoduo then scored late on to grab his 13th league goal of the season and set the seal on another fine performance.

WAT HAPPENED

City were up for this game from the first second of the contest, and it did not take long for the league’s top scorers to break the deadlock.

Within two minutes Michael Okeke broke forward from midfield and delivered a low teasing cross, Liverpool’s Josh Davidson missed his clearance and Oboavwoduo was at the right place at the right time to finish one-on-one past the keeper.

That set the pace for the match, as City were on the hunt for more but this time down the left. Tom Galvez troubled visiting goalkeeper Fabian Mrozek with two crosses in quick succession that never found the finishing touch.

Liverpool’s first threat of the game came from a free kick conceded by Galvez. James McConnell whipped the set piece in, but it was well defended by the City defence.

ELECTRIC START: Justin Oboavwoduo scores in the first two minutes to put City ahead
ELECTRIC START: Justin Oboavwoduo scores in the first two minutes to put City ahead

Liverpool sought to sit deeply and were largely restricted in their own half as we tried to pass our way to goal.

One promising move reached Joel Ndala, who was hugging the touchline on the left, and drove into the box before he cushioned a pass to Alfie Harrison, who got under the ball as it went high over the crossbar.

Harrison was seeing a lot of the ball in the midfield, as he dribbled his way through the visitors’ midfield, rolled it onto Oboavwoduo whose cross deflected into the path of Harrison again who flicked the ball into the net to grab our second.

Isaiah Dada-Mascoll then let fly from distance as the first half drew to a close with City well on top.

ACTION SHOT: Moments before Alfie Harrison flicked in to give us a two goal advantage.
ACTION SHOT: Moments before Alfie Harrison flicked in to give us a two goal advantage.

Liverpool started the second half with a different attitude with Elijah Gift finding space down the right, before he cut inside and shot just wide of True Grant’s far post.

The warning signs from the visitors were then illustrated, as Max Alleyne’s pass was cut out by Trent Kone Doherty, who passed through to McConnell who fired a shot past Grant in the City goal to cut the deficit.

Ben Wilkinson’s side reacted well to the Liverpool goal. Harrison was played through smartly by a defence splitting ball from Jacob Wright, which was intercepted bravely by Niall Osborne.

The ball ended up back with Harrison, but his overhead kick went wide of the post.

CELEBRATIONS: Harrison runs to the camera after grabbing our second!
CELEBRATIONS: Harrison runs to the camera after grabbing our second!

As the second half progressed, the visitors were leaving space for us to counter. Muir had space down the right, before placing the ball into the path of Oboavwoduo who powered his shot marginally wide of the target.

But Liverpool were still pushing for the equaliser. A corner was floated in and met the head of Charlie Hayes-Green, but he could only loop his connection over the bar.

From one end to the pitch to the other, City then struck again.

Isaiah Dada-Mascoll broke up play and picked out substitute Dan Ogwuru who made a solo run in behind the Liverpool defence.

He composed himself before lifting his shot over the Liverpool keeper to restore our two-goal advantage.

As City looked to go up another gear, chances went astray by Ogwuru and Okeke as we aimed for more.

Dada-Mascoll shot was saved spectacularly late on, before Oboavwoduo got the rebound from a tight angle to round off victory.

HOW WE LINED UP

True Grant remained between the posts for this match, with a back four of Jacob Wright, Jahmai Simpson-Pusey, Max Alleyne, and Tom Galvez shielding the goal.

Isaiah Dada-Mascoll sat in front of the defence, with Michael Okeke and Alfie Harrison playing further forward in a midfield trio.

Justin Oboavwoduo led the striking force, with Ashton Muir and Joel Ndala supporting him on the flanks.

Manchester City U18s

XI: Grant, Wright, Simpson-Pusey, Alleyne, Galvez, Okeke, Dada-Mascoll, Harrison, Muir Oboavwoduo, Ndala

Subs: Murray-Jones, Naylor, Alfa-Ruprecht, Gray, Ogwuru

Liverpool U18s

XI: Mrozek, Davidson, Hayes-Green, Osborne, Giblin, Young, Laffey, Pilling, Doherty, McConnell, Danns

Subs: Hewitson, Gift, Kelly, Pitt, Roberts

PRE MATCH PREP: The squad getting warmed up prior to kick off.
PRE MATCH PREP: The squad getting warmed up prior to kick off.

WHAT IT MEANS

Victory has stretched our lead at the top of the league to 10 points at the time of writing with Sunderland playing host to Wolves in a later kick-off.

Our unbeaten run has also continued, we are now 11 games unbeaten in the league (W9 D2).

WHAT’S NEXT

Next weekend we play the other team in Merseyside, as we welcome Everton to the City of Football Academy.

Kick off is scheduled for 11:30 (UK) on Saturday 4 March.

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Premier League u18

Man City
Manchester City

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Everton
Everton

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