Premier League 2 Att: Friday, August 11, 2017 6:05:00 PM
- Nmecha (c)
- Richards Dele-Bashiru 60’
- Garre Matondo 71’
- Unused subs
- Haug, Latibeaudiere, Gonzalez.
- Castillo Dasilva 63’
- Maddox McCormick 57’
- St Clair Taylor-Crossdale (89)
- Unused subs
- Bułka, Muheim.
Read what happened as Simon Davies' side hosted their Chelsea counterparts in their first Premier League 2 match of the 2017/18 season...
In an entertaining clash played out amidst the August drizzle at the EtIhad Stadium, both sides carved out a number of good chances with City keeper Daniel Grimshaw producing a string of fine saves.
Simon Davies' men enjoyed the better of the opening section of both halves only for the visitors to come on strong in the latter stages of each.
But in the end a draw was probably a fair result for two of the sides strongly expected to challenge for the Premier League 2 title.
City began on the front foot with a raking 50 yard crossfield ball from Ed Francis opening up Chelsea's defence in the second minute only for Benjamin Garre to fire narrowly over.
Grimshaw, who was one of several City youngsters to take part on the first team's pre-season tour to the United States, was then alert to come out and block a 10th minute goal-bound shot from Reece James .
In a keenly-fought contest, Chelsea hit back through Callum Hudson-Odoi who found a pocket of space before whipping a shot just wide and then Grimshaw got down well to deny Jacob Maddox.
City's best moment in the opening 45 minutes came right on the stroke of half time as Demeaco Duhaney's crisp first-time cross was met by a powerful header by Nmecha only for Chelsea keeper Jamie Cumming to smartly parry the effort behind.
Grimshaw then produced the save of the match almost immediately after the restart bravely keeping out Maddox after he had beaten City's offside trap and was through one-on-one.
And the City keeper was at his best again just after the hour mark to twice repel close-range efforts from Dujon Sterling.
Garre then drove deep at the heart of the Chelsea back-line before substitute Tom Dele-Bashiru's snap shot was drilled wide before Grimshaw denied the visitors once more, blocking Harvey St Clair's stinging effort.
But City almost struck a late winner when substitute Rabbi Matondo split the visitors defensive line only to be denied.
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What it means
A match-up between two of the Premier League Two's top sides was a perfect barometer of where City stand at the start of the campaign,
And there were numerous positives for manager Davies to draw upon, not least Dilrosun's display wide on the right flank where he was a constant thorn in the visitors' side.
And a series of fine saves from Grimshaw served notice that City will also present the toughest of nuts to crack at the back.
How they lined up
Grimshaw was in goal for City.
Jacob Davenport, Dilrosun, Matthew Smith and Taylor Richards were deployed across midfield with Nmecha and Garre operating upfront.
A tough fought game tomight drawing 0-0 against Chelsea! Strong performance from the boys to open the season🤙🏼 glad to be back😊💙 #MCFC— Edward Francis (@edwardfrancis38) August 11, 2017