EDS & Academy

Impressive City make fine start to UEFA Youth League campaign

Impressive City make fine start to UEFA Youth League campaign
UEFA Youth League
UEFA Youth League
Tue 19 Sep
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City’s Under-19s made the perfect start to our UEFA Youth League campaign as we recorded a resounding 5-2 win over Red Star Belgrade at the Joie Stadium.

Left winger Emilio Lawrence bagged a brilliant brace of goals either side of half time to put Brian Barry-Murphy’s side firmly in the driving seat.

Striker Will Dickson then further extended our advantage before Kane Taylor also got on the score sheet direct from a 55th minute corner.

Red Star did pull two goals back to narrow the deficit, but substitute Jaden Heskey then added to our tally as City  made the ideal start to our Group G mission.

What happened

With City seeking to emulate last season’s superb group stage exploits, the game kicked off amidst driving rain and a stiff gale.

It made for testing conditions even at this early stage of the season.

Red Star enjoyed the advantage of the wind at their backs in the first half but it was City who created the first opening on three minutes.

MOMENT TO PAUSE: The City squad honour the victims of the Morocco earthquake and Libyan floods
MOMENT TO PAUSE: The City squad honour the victims of the Morocco earthquake and Libyan floods

Justin Oboavwoduo’s fine through ball set Farid Alfa-Ruphrect through as he cut in from the right flank only for Red Star keeper Marinkovic to come out and block the City winger’s shot.

And City had a gilt-edged chance on nine minutes when a sublime Max Alleyne pass set Tom Galvez free on the left flank.

The Finnish international pinged in an inviting ball into the heart of the box but Will Dickson was unable to supply the finish from 10 yards out.


City then threatened again from a free kick on 20 minutes as Kane Taylor’s teasing set piece was almost met by Oboavwoduo and Mahamadou Susoho.

Barry-Murphy’s side were dominating territory and possession, but Red Star proved resolute and a danger on the break with the contest a game of patience.

City keeper True Grant needed to be alert to dive low and smother a goal bound 34th minute shot from Red Star striker Jovan Mijatovic.

Galvez then skewed an 18-yard effort high and wide at the other end as the tempo increased.

DRIVING FORCE: Jahmai Simpson-Pusey gets City motoring
DRIVING FORCE: Jahmai Simpson-Pusey gets City motoring

Finally, the breakthrough arrived on 42 minutes and it deservedly went our way.

Having regained possession inside the City half, Kane Taylor motored forward before splitting the Red Star defence with a superb through ball and Emilio Lawrence needed no second invitation to latch onto the pass before slipping a shot past the advancing Marinkovic.

It was the perfect present a day before his 18th birthday.

And the day got even better for the teenager two minutes after the restart as City roared out of the blocks with a three goal blast inside seven minutes.

Receiving the ball out wide, Lawrence cut inside before firing a stunning 47th minute right footed shot into the top corner of the net for a quite brilliant strike.

And it got even better for City two minutes later as Dickson further extended our lead with a smart swivel and shot in the centre of the box after Marinkovic had somehow denied Taylor.

ACTION MAN: Farid Alfa-Ruprecht on the march
ACTION MAN: Farid Alfa-Ruprecht on the march

With our tails up City then struck again on 55 minutes as Kane Taylor fired home direct from a corner kick.

Red Star though sought to try and repair the damage and claimed their first goal on 57 minutes as the dangerous Mijatovic fired home via a deflection.

City remained on the front foot though and Marinkovic produced three stunning saves in succession to deny Oboavwoduo, Alfa-Ruprecht and Samuel.

Red Star though kept pressing and gained another goal on 78 minutes through substitute Mateja Bunaji after True Grant had made a fine initial save.

City though pressed again and restored our three goal advantage on 82 minutes after more Lawrence trickery set up substitute Jaden Heskey for a smart close range finish.

Overall however, it was impressive stuff from the City youngsters and an encouraging glimpse into the huge potential within the squad.

CELEBRATION TIME: For Emilio Lawrence
CELEBRATION TIME: For Emilio Lawrence

How we lined up

True Grant was in goal and shielded by a back four of Lakyle Samuel, Jahmai Simpson-Pusey, skipper Max Alleyne and Tomas Galvez.

Mahamadou Susoho was the midfield anchor with Kane Taylor and Justin Oboavwoduo also deployed in the engine room.

Our attacking trio comprised of Farid Alfa-Ruprecht, Emilio Lawrence with Will Dickson the central focal point.

CITY XI: Grant, Samuel (Carrington 88), Simpson-Pusey, Alleyne, Galvez (Wright 88), Susoho, Alfa-Ruprecht (Heskey 75), Oboavwoduo, Dickson, Taylor, Lawrence (Warhurst 88)

RED STAR: Marinkovic, Nedeljković, Stojsavljević, Milosavljević, Vukičević, Šljivić, Petrović, Mijatović, Lečić, Maksimović, Vukojević

WILL POWER: Will Dickson celebrates his goal
WILL POWER: Will Dickson celebrates his goal

What it means

Brian Barry-Murphy’s side open our European campaign with a deserved three point haul.

City return to UEFA Youth League early next month when we travel to tackle RB Leipzig Under-19s on Wednesday, 4 October, with kick-off scheduled for 13:00pm (UK).

What’s next

The City youngsters make a swift return to action on Friday when we play host to Chelsea at the Joie Stadium in a key PL2 fixture.

The action gets underway at 19:00 (UK) and the match will be screened live on CITY+.

News about Man City v Red Star Belgrade