EDS & Academy

City see off Hammers in table-topping PL2 clash

City see off Hammers in table-topping PL2 clash
Premier League 2
Premier League 2
Sun 20 Feb
James Mcatee 

Carlos Borges 

Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad extended our lead at the top of Premier League 2 to seven points with a deserved 2-0 win over second-placed West Ham at the Academy Stadium.

James McAtee grabbed his 17th league goal of the season from the spot inside six minutes to hand City the early advantage.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors just after the half hour when Jamal Baptiste was sent off for a second bookable offence.

And Brian Barry-Murphy’s men took advantage when Carlos Borges came off the bench to smash home number two just before the hour to hand City maximum points.

What Happened

Despite just four points separating the two sides at kick-off, City and West Ham’s recent results heading into the game were in stark contrast.

Table-topping City were aiming for a sixth successive PL2 victory, while second-placed West Ham were winless in their last three, and things went according to the form book early on.

Juan Larios carved open the West Ham defence with an inch-perfect ball in behind to Delap, and the City forward was brought down by Ajibola Alese as he raced in on goal inside six minutes.

McAtee took on the responsibility from the spot and delivered emphatically, chipping down the middle to hand Brian Barry-Murphy’s men the early advantage in style.

And PL2’s top scorer will perhaps feel he should’ve doubled our advantage as the game approached 25 minutes, when he sliced a volley wide of the West Ham net after Luke Mbete had kept a free-kick alive at the far post.

City’s dominance continued when Delap tucked home soon after, but his celebrations - and the blushes of West Ham stopper Krisztian Hegyi after a loose pass – were cut short by the offside flag.


The visitors rallied as the half-hour mark edged closer, with Cieran Slicker forced into a smart save down to his left to deny Bernardo Rosa inside the City area.

But the game swung back in City’s favour soon after when Baptiste was shown a second yellow for a strong challenge on Darko Gyabi.

McAtee and Delap both went close towards the end of the half, but Brian Barry-Murphy’s men would have to wait until the hour for a second to follow.

And it came from substitute Borges who, five minutes after entering the fray, smashed an unstoppable drive into the roof of the net after Oscar Bobb had weaved his way to the by-line.

Despite the healthy advantage, there was no let-up from City as Romeo Lavia tried his luck from distance with around 15 to play, but Hegyi was always behind his vicious drive from range.

And the West Ham stopper pulled off a fantastic reaction save soon after, clawing McAtee's effort past the post after the midfielder had jinked his way expertly into the box.


Bobb also went close to adding a third late on, but Hegyi stood tall to block the Norwegian's powerful drive.

Indeed, City would have to settle for two on an afternoon where they showed the rest of the league that their bid for a second successive title was rapidly gathering momentum.

What it means

Victory for City moves us seven points clear at the top of PL2, although West Ham have played one game fewer.

How we lined up

Cieran Slicker started between the sticks, shielded by a back four of CJ Egan-Riley, Shea Charles, Luke Mbete and Juan Larios.

Romeo Lavia sat in front, while James McAtee and Darko Gyabi completed the midfield three.

At the sharp end, Liam Delap started as centre-forward, with Kayky and Oscar Bobb providing width from the flanks.

City XI: Slicker, Egan-Riley (C), Charles, Mbete, Laris, Lavia (Robertson 75'), Gyabi, McAtee (Oduroh 90'), Kayky (Borges 54'), Bobb, Delap

Subs: van Sas, Mebude

West Ham XI: Hegyi, Rosa, Fevrie, Ekwah, Baptiste, Alese, Swyer (Diallo 86'), Appiah Forson, Perkins, Chesters, Nevers (Laing 35', Potts 76')

Subs: Kinnear, Ashley

Up next

Brian Barry-Murphy's youngsters face Leicester on Monday 28 February in our next Premier League 2 encounter, with kick-off scheduled for 19:00 (UK).

The match will be available to watch live with a CITY+ subscription.

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