Manchester City's Elite Development Squad were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton in our latest Premier League 2 clash - despite a dominant display at Finch Farm.

A bright start from Brian Barry-Murphy‘s side resulted in us taking the lead when Kane Taylor bundled home from close range after 18 minutes.

However, the home side levelled when Sean McAllister struck low into the bottom corner after a fine solo run early in the second half.

A flurry of late chances from the young Blues could have seen us secure all three points, but the EDS were forced to settle for an away point as Everton held out in spite of sustained City pressure. 


City arrived on Merseyside following heavy rain throughout the day, so adapting to the conditions was going to be key at Finch Farm. 

And indeed it was Barry-Murphy’s side who adjusted to the wet surface quicker, with the added pace it provided suiting City’s quick, high-intensity game well. 

The EDS looked dangerous from the outset, particularly during transitions, with City able to move the ball at pace from defence to our wingers Joel Ndala and Micah Hamilton, who could use their pace and trickery to trouble the Everton full-backs. 


Lakyle Samuel came close to scoring with a powerful header.


But whilst City provided a threat in open play, our opener almost came from a set-piece when Lakyle Samuel met Jacob Wright‘s in-swinging corner with a towering header, but Toffees keeper Fraser Barnsley reacted well to beat away the defender’s effort after 12 minutes.

However, it wasn’t long before City made their control on the game count.

Justin Oboavwoduo‘s shot at goal in the 18th minute was pushed into the path of Taylor by the Everton keeper, and Taylor duly poked home after out-muscling the defender to give us a deserved lead.


Kane Taylor opened the scoring at Finch Farm.


City continued to fly forward, with right-back Tomas Galvez producing a golden chance soon after, fizzing a cross towards Oboavwoduo, but the striker couldn’t connect onto the pass with the goal gaping. 

It proved to be a pivotal moment as Everton started to grow into the game following that chance and sought to match City’s intensity, though there were little chances for either side as the first half finished with a one-goal margin. 

The second half started as evenly as the first had finished with both teams enjoying decent spells on the ball. 

But the hosts would hit back to level the scores when McAllister spun away from two of our midfielders, driving into the box and scoring with a fine finish off his left foot, bringing the Toffees level in the 54th minute.

It looked as though the game would settle into a draw with both sides struggling to break the other down, but the return of Nico O’Reilly to the field for his first appearance of the season after injury sparked a second wind for City.


Nico O’Reilly made a welcome return to the EDS.

Ndala started to be found more often down the left-wing, using his trickery and pace to get in behind the Toffees’ defence, and he cut inside to fire at goal only for his effort to be deflected wide by Reece Welch. 

City looked the more likely to win the game, with Taylor seeing a shot well-saved by the legs of Barnsley from inside the area before Ndala saw another attempt deflected away approaching the last ten minutes.

Oboavwoduo then saw a near-post effort saved in the 86th minute before Samuel fired into the side netting as City kept looking for a winner. 

In the final seconds a late breakaway from Everton saw right-back Dixon break into the box, but True Grant reacted quickly to smother out the defender’s effort. 

In the end, City had to settle for a point when they deserved more, but there were plenty of positives to take from the performance as we look to climb the Premier League 2 table.  


Everton U-21s 

Starting XI: Barnsley, Dixon, John, Welch (Jones 78’), Campbell, Bates, Djankpata, Apter (Whitaker 60’), Kouyate (Higgins 60’), McAllister (Armstrong 57’), Heath. 

Subs: Pickford. 

Manchester City EDS

Starting XI: Grant, Samuel, Simpson-Pusey, Noble, Galvez, Wright, Hamilton (Warhurst 90+1’,) Adam (O’Reilly 64’), Oboavwoduo, Taylor, Ndala. 

Subs: Okeke, Murray-Jones, Lawrence. 


The result sees us remain bottom of the Premier League 2 table.

We do however make ground on the top 16 play-off spots, now sitting five points behind current occupants Southampton. 


The Elite Development Squad will face Wolves next in the Premier League 2. 

Kick-off at the Joie Stadium will be at 13:00 GMT (UK) on Sunday 11 February.  

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