City's Elite Development Squad fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat at Manchester United in our latest Premier League 2 clash.

The hosts took the lead, against the run of play, through an Ethan Wheatley strike 35 minutes into the first half.

And their first shot on target in the second half doubled United’s lead when Tom Huddlestone’s strike left City with a tall task. 

Stephen Mfuni scored his first Premier League 2 goal to half the deficit for Brian Barry-Murphy‘s side with 30 minutes left to play. 

United were forced to play with 10 men after Sam Mather was dismissed 11 minutes before full-time but City weren’t able to find the equaliser despite the extra man and 11 minutes added time.


Leigh Sports Village played host to the only Manchester derby of the campaign under the newly formatted Premier League 2.

But the chill that surrounded the home of rugby league side Leigh Leopards did not phase City who started on the front foot.

Barry-Murphy’s side were determined to take a lead which our youngsters had struggled to find in recent games.

City’s young charges shifted play confidently as we searched for an opening in United’s formation to allow us to drive at their goal.

SKIPPER : Captain Micah Hamilton focused on the ball.
SKIPPER : Captain Micah Hamilton focused on the ball.

Despite dominating possession, City didn’t rush into United’s box. It took us 30 minutes of prodding before carving out our first opportune moment of the match.

Micah Hamilton’s dinked ball across the face of the goal was initially cleared by a United header but fell to the feet of Jacob Wright who saw his first-time strike drift wide of the left post.

Momentum stayed with City as Joel Ndala was fouled 25 yards from goal. Wright was given another opportunity to put City ahead but his free-kick was caught by Dermot Mee.

Against the run of play, the hosts took the lead in the 35th minute when Ethan Wheatley fired the ball past True Grant who was stuck on his heels.

The hosts capitalised on City overhauling the United box with the corner kick they were awarded moments before and took the lead with their second shot on target.

MOMENTS BEFORE : Jacob Wright prepares to take a City corner as we pile on pressure.
MOMENTS BEFORE : Jacob Wright prepares to take a City corner as we pile on pressure.

Barry-Murphy’s half-time team talk must have been inspiring as City looked energetic and looking to right the wrongs from the first half.

Nico O’Reilly almost halved the deficit in the opening minutes with his close-range toe poke denied by Mee as he scrambled to reach the ball.

But in similar fashion to United’s opening goal, they found a second on 54 minutes when 37-year-old Tom Huddlestone  converted a corner kick.

Undeterred by the Manchester United’s strong advantage, we halved the deficit six minutes later when Stephen Mfuni’s left-footed effort floated over Mee and into the back of the net via a deflection.

Mark Dempsey’s side were rattled by City’s well-worked goal, finding themselves constantly chasing play as we entered the final 15 minutes.

Frustrated by City’s tempo and determination, Sam Mather was sent off 11 minutes from time after an altercation with Kian Breckin.

United’s change of formation saw them defend every City attempt as a tight unit with a back five impenetrable for the 11 minutes of nerve-wracking added time.  

Chances went astray for Wright, Ndala, Hamilton and Breckin who couldn’t find a late equaliser as City suffered a heartbreaking defeat. 

LOOKING FORWARD : Tom Galvez looks to connect with his team-mates.
LOOKING FORWARD : Tom Galvez looks to connect with his team-mates.


True Grant’s kept goal in front of a defence made up of Matty Henderson-Hall, Mahamadou Susoho, Jahmai Simpson-Pusey and Tom Galvez.

In City’s engine room, Jacob Wright shielded the defensive line in the number six position with Kane Taylor and Kian Breckin either side of him.

City’s attacking line was led by Nico O’Reilly with Micah Hamilton positioned on the right flank with Joel Ndala on the opposite side.

UNITED XI | Mee, Ogunneye, Murray, Kambwala, Aljofree, Huddlestone, Williams (Nolan 82’), Collyer ©, Wheatley (McNeill 73’), Scanlon (Jackson 90+1’), Mather

SUBS | Myles, Amass

CITY XI | Grant, Henderson-Hall (Mfuni 46’), Susoho, Simpson-Pusey, Galvez, Wright, Hamilton ©, Breckin, O’Reilly (Tibidi 70’), Taylor (Adam 81’), Ndala

SUBS | Murray-Jones, Lawrence


City EDS remain bottom of the Premier League 2 with six league games remaining. 

THE VENUE : Leigh Sports Village played host to a tight Manchester derby.
THE VENUE : Leigh Sports Village played host to a tight Manchester derby.


The next fixture for our Elite Development Squad sees our attention turn to the UEFA Youth League.

Brian Barry-Murphy’s side travel to Germany to take on Mainz in the Round of 16.

Kick-off is scheduled for 17:00 (UK) on Tuesday 27 February.

We’ll have the latest information on the fixture, including a comprehensive match report, on and the Official Man City App.

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