Goals from Jordi Hiwula and Marcos Lopes were enough for the win, but the Blues had to dig deep to overcome the Tykes on a cold and wet Friday afternoon.
It seemed an unusual time to play a friendly – during the league season – but with both sides available due to the international break, it was a good chance for the young Blues to test themselves against first-team opposition.
And they were certainly up for the fight. After a nervy first half of few chances, the Blues took the lead after the break.
Following a period of sustained pressure, Devante Cole drove forward before feeding Louis Hutton on the left. The midfielder chipped the ball back across goal for Hiwula, who stuck out a foot and managed to force the ball home.
It was no more than City deserved but their concentration deserted them from the restart, as Barnsley hit back immediately. Tykes’ winger Dale Jennings picked up a loose ball in the centre and his first-time shot flew past Ian Lawlor and into the top corner.
It was a disappointing set-back for the Blues but they responded well and continued to press forward. Lopes and Cole spurned good chances before the Blues’ pressure finally told with just over 15 minutes remaining.
Cole burst forward once more before playing a neat through-ball to Lopes. With only the goalkeeper to beat, he took a touch before driving the ball into the bottom corner.
It was a well-worked goal and one that had been coming, but could City hang on for a second time?
They were certainly made to work, as the away side pushed for an equaliser, but the Tykes struggled to create any real chances. A series of corners had the City nerves jangling but the Blues’ lead rarely looked under threat and Patrick Vieira’s men held on for an impressive win.