Patrick Roberts turned in a dazzling display to help England u19s to a 5-1 victory over Japan at the Academy Stadium.
City’s summer signing has shone on the same stage before, and he replicated his club form in an England shirt, always looking dangerous on the right wing and grabbing the goal his performance deserved midway through the first half.
A crowd of over 2,000 came out to catch a glimpse of England’s future at the home of City EDS and MCWFC, and the BT Sport cameras were also on hand for an event which further emphasised the level of facilities enjoyed by all the players that train and play at the CFA.
It was also a special afternoon for EDS defender Tosin Adarabioyo, who made his England u19s debut on home soil after previously representing his country in the lower age groups.
Txiki Begiristain and Steven Gerrard were among the famous faces in attendance, while members of MCWFC turned up to cheer on the City duo and their teammates.
Backed by the England band under the Academy Stadium floodlights, the young Lions impressed against a Japan side that rarely threatened.
Josh Onomah had England ahead early on, and the home side had a chance to make it two after 26 minutes when Callum Connolly was fouled in the box.
Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham won the rights to the spot kick – after a quick game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with Roberts!
The striker saw his kick saved but just a minute later turned provider for Roberts himself, who swept the ball home after an intelligent run.
Japan pulled one back with an impressive counter attack finished with a towering header, before Abraham restored the two goal advantage before the break and the no.9 seized on a poor backpass to add his second and England’s fourth just after the hour.
Daniel Crowley added some gloss late on to cap a fine display from the Young Lions, and the locals won’t have been disappointed with their choice to venture out into the cold to watch some of the country’s finest youth prospects.