EDS & Academy

EDS held by Liverpool in Premier League 2 opener

EDS held by Liverpool in Premier League 2 opener
Premier League 2
Premier League 2
Sun 15 Aug
Manchester City Elite Development Squad were unable to make a winning start to our Premier League 2 title defence after being held to a 0-0 draw away at Liverpool.

Brian Barry-Murphy’s side dominated proceedings in a one-sided affair on Merseyside, but the new manager was forced to settle for a point from his first game in charge after the host’s stubborn defence frustrated City in attack.

Cole Palmer and Luke Bolton both went close on a several occasions but Reds’ goalkeeper Liam Hughes was in fine form and, such was our dominance, Barry-Murphy may have been left questioning how his team only came away with a point.

                        EDS held by Liverpool in Premier League 2 opener

It was Liverpool who started the brighter on Merseyside in a first half in which clear cut chances were few and far between.

Ciaran Slicker made a superb full stretch save from Elijah Dixon-Bonner’s curling effort as the home side began with an impressive intensity, but City gradually grew into the game as Romeo Lavia’s steel at the base of midfield allowed those in front of him to flourish.

Intricate build-up play between Palmer and James McAtee created City’s first chance as Alpha Dionkou drove straight at Hughes and, with Bolton getting plenty of joy down the right, Barry-Murphy’s side looked increasingly in control.

Sam Edozie missed a golden opportunity at the far post after Bolton delivered a teasing ball across the face of goal, but his team-mate could only find the side netting from an acute angle.

                        EDS held by Liverpool in Premier League 2 opener

It was a sign of things to come as City came flying out of the blocks in the second half and continued to play with greater fluidity.

Palmer immediately forced Hughes into a smart save from 20-yards and Bolton flashed an angled drive wide before Oscar Bobb was played in by a superb pass from Lavia only to see his lofted effort bounce agonisingly wide of the post.

Slicker blocked Mateusz Musialowski’s close range strike as the forward carved a rare opportunity on the counter-attack for Liverpool, but at the other end of the pitch Hughes was proving to be a thorn in City’s side.

The goalkeeper stuck out a leg to divert Palmer’s shot on the turn round the post and when they renewed their battle minutes later, the midfielder saw his back post header clawed away, with Bolton dragging the rebound wide.

Barry-Murphy introduced Tai Sodje and Micah Hamilton in a bid to inspire the visitors in the final 20 minutes and, whilst we remained the most likely to net the winner, some wayward shooting meant we left Merseyside frustrated with a point.

                        EDS held by Liverpool in Premier League 2 opener

What it means

Only two fixtures were played on the opening weekend of the new Premier League 2 campaign, with the remain five scheduled for Monday.

Ahead of those games, City are joint second with Liverpool, behind Leicester City and Manchester United, who played out a 2-2 draw.

Up next

City host Blackburn Rovers at the Academy Stadium on Friday 20 August.

Kick-off is at 19:00 (UK) and you can follow the game on Twitter @ManCityAcademy, with a full match report available on mancity.com and the official app after the full-time whistle.

Next Fixture

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Premier League 2

Man City



How we lined up

Slicker’s goal was protected by a back four of Dionkou, Finley Burns, captain CJ Egan-Riley and Juan Larios.

Lavia sat deepest in midfield, with Palmer and McAtee ahead of him behind a front there of Bolton, Edozie and Bobb, who led the line.

News about Liverpool v Man City

Positives aplenty from EDS opener, says Barry-Murphy

Elite Development Squad head coach Brian Barry-Murphy says there were numerous positives to draw upon from Sunday’s opening Premier League 2 encounter away at Liverpool. Read more.

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