Manchester City's Elite Development Squad (EDS) were held in an entertaining 2-2 draw with Arsenal in a Premier League 2 clash at the Academy Stadium.

Oscar Bobb put us ahead before a stunning strike from Salah Oulad M’Hand levelled the scores just before half-time.

The visitors struck early in the second half to retake the lead through Joel Lopez, but Nico O’Reilly replied five minutes later to rescue a point for Brian Barry-Murphy‘s men.


City were on the front foot right from the off and could’ve had three goals within the opening ten minutes.

Arsenal keeper Arthur Okonkno had to save two separate efforts from Sam Edozie, before Liam Delap dragged an effort wide inside the box. 

The Arsenal stopper was called into action again, making a brilliant double save, denying James McAtee‘s close-range free-kick, before tipping away Josh Wilson-Esbrand’s follow up effort. 

It looked like the goal would never come, but our persistence paid off when Delap played McAtee through after some lovely link up play. The midfielder’s effort was saved, but Bobb came steaming in at the back post to convert the rebound. 

However, in the closing stages of the first half, the visitors found themselves level when Oulad M’Hand unleashed an incredible 25-yard strike that left Cieran Slicker with no chance, nestling into the top corner of the City net. 

The game exploded into life after the break, as we found ourselves behind after just 20 seconds when Lopez’s left-footed strike went in off the post. 

We weren’t behind for long as five minutes later, Delap surged past the Arsenal backline and cut the ball back for O’Reilly to finish from close range. 

Both teams kept driving forward to find a winner, with both Slicker and Okonkno called upon to deny Tim Akinola and Edozie respectively in the latter stages, but no winner could be found and the points were shared at the Academy Stadium. 


Barry-Murphy named Slicker in goal, with a backline made up of CJ Egan-Riley, Finley Burns, Luke Mbete and Wilson-Esbrand, fresh from making their first-team debuts against Wycombe in mid-week. 

Shea Charles and O’Reilly sat deep in midfield whilst McAtee, Bobb and Edozie provided the attacking threat alongside Delap


The draw sees the EDS remain top of the Premier League 2, with a one-point advantage over both Brighton and Arsenal.

It also continues the side’s unbeaten start to the season. 


After the game, Brian Barry-Murphy said: “In the first half we created a lot of chances and their goalkeeper pulled off some really incredible saves.

“The second half was a very transitional game, we’d attack, Arsenal would attack, and I think that was down to the opponent as well.

“I don’t think we were probably at our best in terms of our play in the second half but the lads gave absolutely everything and fought right till the end.

“That mentality has been evident all season and is very important to see in every single game.” 


Barry-Murphy’s youngsters welcome Derby County for a Premier League 2 clash at the Academy Stadium. 

Kick-off is at 4pm (UK) on Saturday 2 October. 

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