City Under-17s advanced to the semi-finals of the Premier League Under-17 Cup after a hard fought 1-0 win over Leeds United on Wednesday evening.

The hosts were an organised side and looked the most likely to break the deadlock in the early stages of the game.

But a headed effort by shining Academy star Stephen Mfuni in the latter stages of the first half gave City the lead.

An end-to-end second half saw City’s defensive line tested but Ben Wilkinson’s side were able to showcase our togetherness to hold on to a vital win and a place in the final four of the competition.


The LNER Community Stadium played host to a lively and thrilling quarter-final clash.

While City acclimatised to our surroundings, Leeds looked to dismantle City’s defence in the opening minutes. However, as they approached the City goal mouth, misplaced passes by Leeds allowed Seb Naylor to clear the ball from danger after the opening 15 minutes.  

Despite the early scare from Leeds, Ben Wilkinson’s side continued to develop slowly and at a pace that suited our style.

Gasps echoed around the stadium after a misplaced pass by Leke Drake was intercepted by Freddie Lane who was through on goal. Oliver Whatmuff was able to deny the hosts from taking the lead with a fantastic fingertip save in the 23rd minute.

Then City burst into life. Luca Fletcher smashed the crossbar a few minutes later with a thunderous effort. Even though the ball didn’t find the back of the net, it boosted City’s confidence.

Then up stepped an unlikely hero to give City the lead. Centre-back Stephen Mfuni headed home a pinpoint corner eight minutes before half time.

The opening 45 minutes ended with Leeds maintaining possession. A phenomenal Whatmuff save deflected onto captain Dan Batty and almost looped into the back of the net.

Acrobatic defensive heroics, however, from Matty Henderson-Hall allowed City to head to the changing rooms with the advantage.

City returned to the pitch the more confident team and it showed as the boys in blue crafted the first chance of the second half.

Christian Dunbar-McDonald received the ball on the left-hand side of the box and looked to place a fine curled effort into the bottom right corner to double City’s lead. But, an outstretched Owen Grainger denied the winger inside five minutes.

The clock dwindled down quickly with neither side able to create goalscoring opportunities. City knew Leeds needed to chase for a goal so denied them the chance to do so by maintaining possession.

Quick, but risky, passing around City’s defensive line forced the hosts to chase the ball but to no avail as City were able to hold out for a narrow win and a place in the semi-finals.


LEEDS XI: Grainer, Billett, Richards, Simo (Morris 90+1’), Cresswell, Hamilton (Dudley 84’), Render (McDonald 62’), Chadwick, Pirie (Gray 62’), Pickles, Lane

UNUSED SUBS: Baird, Morris

CITY XI: Whatmuff, Henderson-Hall (Headley 76’), Drake (Braithwait 46’), Mfuni, Naylor, Fapetu, Fletcher (Nfonkeu 76’), Batty ©, Warhurst, Mukasa, Dunbar-McDonald (Heskey 86’)



City advance to the semi-finals of the competition.

Keep across and the official Man City app to find out who the City Under-17s side will face and when.


Ben Wilkinson’s Under-18s side return to action on Saturday 3 February as we face West Ham for a second time this season.

Having beat the Hammers 2-0 in extra-time in the FA Youth Cup, City will be hoping for a similar outcome at the City Football Academy in the Premier League Under-18 Cup quarter-final.