City’s Under-21 served up a superb display at Scunthorpe United as we sealed our place into the knockout stages of the EFL Trophy.

Ben Knight and Sam Edozie both scored two apiece as Enzo Maresca’s impressive young charges made it two wins out of two in Group E.

The City youngsters revelled in the challenge against the League Two side at the Sands Venue Stadium with their slick passing, fluid movement and eye for goal dovetailing to devastating effect.

What happened

Maresca had warned that Scunthorpe’s physicality would pose a special challenge and with the Iron pressing at every opportunity early on, City had to be on their guard.

It needed a magnificent fourth minute save from James Trafford to deny Ryan Colclough’s point-blank header

Trafford then had to be alert to come out of the box and intercept with Aaron Jarvis bearing down on goal.

Skipper CJ Egan-Riley then produced a crucial 13th minute block after Jarvis had beaten the keeper and looked to square to the waiting Eisa.

DOUBLE DELIGHT: Sam Edozie netted twice for our Under-21s
DOUBLE DELIGHT: Sam Edozie netted twice for our Under-21s

But City’s passing and movement then began to open up space and time and we struck in devastating fashion on 17 minutes.

The dangerous Knight latched onto a pinpoint through ball to beat the hosts’ defence and the attacking wide man then showed his composure to dink the ball under keeper Kelsey for a terrific opener.

There was again so much to admire about our play with the players’ passing game a joy to watch.

Another slick City move saw James McAtee, whose brother John lined up for Scunthorpe, evade the hosts defence and cut in from the left only for the keeper to deny his crisp drive before Knight then flashed a powerful drive just over.

Kelsey then denied McAtee again this time at the far post, after City had cut a swathe through the Iron back line once more.

DANGER MAN: James McAtee came close to furthering City's advantage
DANGER MAN: James McAtee came close to furthering City's advantage

Scunthorpe remained a threat however and Trafford then earned his spurs once more diving low to right to produce a superb save to deny Devarn Green after City’s back line had been pierced.

But City were not to be denied and a deserved second goal arrived on 54 minutes.

Alpha Dionkou was the architect, the full-back superbly riding a challenge on the right flank to open up space before drilling the ball into the waiting Sam Edozie who fired home from six yards.

Knight then capped a brilliant individual display by producing a superb chip over the keeper to make it 3-0.

And two minutes later our superiority was further reinforced with a terrific fourth goal and a second for Edozie.

The winger cut in from the left before curing a wonderful finish into the top corner of the net.

How we lined up

James Trafford was in goal shielded by a back four of Alpha Dionkou, Finley Burns, Luke Mbete and Nat Ogebta. Skipper CJ Egan-Riley was the holding midfielder alongside Claudio Gomes with Matt Smith also in the engine room.
James McAtee, Ben Knight and Sam Edozie formed City’s fluid attacking trident.

DELIGHT: For head coach Enzo Maresca
DELIGHT: For head coach Enzo Maresca

What it means

City remain top of Group E and with six points from our opening two games we are assured of a top two finish.

Lincoln, who have two points from their opening game, play Mansfield, with zero, in their second match next week.

It all means we will travel to Lincoln for our final group game in late November assured of a place in the knockout stages.

What’s next

We are back in PL2 action this Sunday when we make the short trip to Merseyside to play Everton’s Under-23s.

Kick-off is at 1pm.