EDS & Academy

Diaz and Fernandes fire City to top of the table

BRAHIM DIAZ: City's match winner jumps for joy after his thunderbolt
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Read what happened as Simon Davies' side welcomed Reading to the Academy Stadium...

What happened...

Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League 2 table with a 2-1 victory over Reading at the Academy Stadium.

Long range efforts from Paolo Fernandes and Brahim Diaz cancelled out Josh Barrett’s early strike for the visitors.

City had the first chance of the match through Lukas Nmecha’s 20-yard stinger but they fell behind only moments later.

Reading’s imposing centre forward Sam Smith jumped highest to flick on for Josh Barrett who fired an unstoppable effort past O’Brien.

The almost telepathic connection of Diaz and Fernandes proved to be City’s best route back into the first half but neither could find a way past Luke Southwood in the Reading goal.

View highlights from Tuesday's impressive UEFA Youth League comeback against Celtic below:

WATCH: UEFA Youth League action: City v Celtic

The introduction of Thierry Ambrose pinned Reading back as they feared his pace in behind. This gave City more space to operate on the edge of the box and Paolo Fernandes used that to curl home City’s equaliser.

That proved the route to success again in the 71st minute as Diaz dribbled into space in Reading's final third before unleashing a powerful strike that went in off the post.

Reading tried to stir themselves in the closing minutes but having spent much of the match defending, they found it hard to muster a rhythm and City were the victors.

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What it means...

Manchester City have 24 points from 12 matches in the Premier League 2 and move to the top of the table.

City travel to Derby County in the Premier League Cup on Monday 19 December before a short break over the festive period.


                        GARCIA: City's sitting midfielder ran the match from his central position
GARCIA: City's sitting midfielder ran the match from his central position

Key moment...

As the ball was tossed in the air from a midfield scramble, there was only one winner of the aerial tussle between James Horsfield and Reading’s Sam Smith.

Smith flicked the ball into the space and Barrett ran on to it and gave the Royals a lead to defend.

Man of the match...

Brahim Diaz - Given a much less restricted role than in recent weeks, City's Spaniard blossomed.

Whether starting from the right or the left, he proved a menace for the Reading defenders and scored the goal of the match to give City the lead.

How they lined up...

Billy O'Brien returned between the posts for City.

Demeaco Duhaney, U18s captain Joel Latibeaudiere, James Horsfield and Angelino were the defence.


                        ANGELINO: City's full-back competes in a strong challenge
ANGELINO: City's full-back competes in a strong challenge

Aleix Garcia sat behind Rodney Kongolo and Denzeil Boadu in central midfielld while Brahim Diaz and Paolo Fernandes flanked Lukas Nmecha.

Substitutes: Haug, Patching, Hardy, Ambrose, Buckley-Ricketts

Confused about the format and rules of the Premier League 2? Here's a handy guide to explain all the competitions our youngsters will be taking part in this season.

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