EDS & Academy

EDS edge Everton in seven goal thriller

BRACE: Lukas Nmecha grabbed two goals against Everton.
Premier League U18 Cup
Premier League U18 Cup
Thu 14 Mar
A brace apiece from Phil Foden and Lukas Nmecha saw 10-man Manchester City fight back to beat Everton 4-3 in a breathless Premier League 2 encounter at Goodison Park.

Having trailed 2-0 at half-time, Simon Davies’ side twice regained the lead in a frantic second period which saw Joel Latibeaudiere dismissed.

Fraser Hornby and Con Ouzounindis scored for the hosts as City struggled to create meaningful chances before the break, but a much-improved display, which carried as much grit as it did quality, saw the young Blues respond in emphatic fashion.

Foden got the ball rolling with a composed finish, before Nmecha’s double put City ahead for the first time.

Everton levelled through Shane Lavery and just as it looked as if both sides would share the spoils, Foden popped up with a late winner to ensure City’s desire got its just rewards.

What happened

A strong line-up boasting Tosin Adarabioyo and Nmecha, substitutes for the first team the day before, looked to play in Everton’s half during the opening 45 minutes, but failed to truly test the Merseysider’s resolute defence.

The lively Luke Bolton looked our most potent outlet as he repeatedly got to the dead ball line on either flank and his curling effort forced a good save from Mateusz Hewelt early on before Marcus Wood headed our best chance of the first period inches wide of the post.

But that was it from the visitors in the early exchanges.

Everton’s five-man, compact midfield restricted Davies’ youngsters to nice interchanges that failed to penetrate the 18-yard line and countered at every opportunity to provide their own attacking threat.

Right winger Josh Bowler and the imposing figure of Hornby proved a handful for the City defence and it was the latter who opened the scoring in the 19th minute.

Hewelt’s kick sailed over the head of Adarabioyo and the Toffees’ striker killed it with a beautiful touch before slotting under the onrushing Aro Muric.

Ten minutes later and Everton extended their lead from a set piece.

Jose Baxter whipped in a corner and Ouzounidis rose highest to power a header beyond Muric.

City needed a response and it came, but not before the defensive desire of Latibeaudiere characterised his team’s determination to get back into the game.

Bassala Sambou looked to have scored a third as he turned home from close range but the young defender recovered from a fall to clear the ball off the line.

It was stirring stuff and it kickstarted a whirlwind second period in which both sides attacked with vigour.

Foden handed City a lifeline after he converted from close range following good work down the right from Brahim Diaz, before Nmecha stole the ball off Ouzounidis’ toes and rounded Hewelt to level.

From there, the game became increasingly frenzied and stretched as City looked to capitalise and Everton sought to hold on.

But we gained the upper hand with Diaz, Foden and Nmecha linking well in the final third and the forward put us ahead for the first time in the game with a sumptuous strike.

Picking the ball up on the left of the area, he swivelled and sent a venomous shot into the top right corner.

It was a goal worthy of winning any game and it might have, if not for Latibeaudiere’s sending off.

Already cautioned, the centre-half felled Bowler and received his marching orders from the referee, which left City to hold on the hard way.

But the lead was quickly pegged back.

Two Everton substitutes combined, with Jack Kiersey’s header hitting the underside of the crossbar and Shane Lavery reacting quickest to prod the ball over the line to set up a tense finale.

With a one-man advantage, Everton certainly caused City problems in the closing stages, but the defence held firm and at the other end, the abundance of attacking talent produced when it mattered most.

Nmecha, Javairo Dilrosun and Diaz would all have been worthy match-winners but it was Foden who sealed the three points, with a left-footed finish swept into the bottom right corner five minutes from time.

How we lined up…

Davies made five changes to the team that beat Derby County 4-0 three weeks ago with Diaz, Foden, Ed Francis, Rabbi Matondo and Wood all coming into the starting XI.

Muric was in goal and protected by a back three of Demeaco Duhaney, Adarabioyo, Latibeaudiere.

Francis and Wood anchored midfield with Diaz and Foden just ahead of them, while Matondo and Bolton were on either flank.

Captain Nmecha led the line up front.

What it means

This win, our fourth in six games, continues our fine league form since the turn of the year and sees us leapfrog West Ham United into seventh place in the Premier League 2.

Up next

We face the Hammers on Thursday 5 April at the Academy Stadium.

Tickets are on sale now at mancity.com/tickets and all Seasoncard holders and Cityzens Matchday members can claim a free ticket for this game.

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