Premier League 2 Academy Stadium Att: Saturday, November 3, 2018 12:00:00 PM
Nmecha 18', 80'
- Martin Woods
- Humphreys Ogbeta 27’
- Sandler Poveda 75’
- Mangala (Harwood-BellIis45)
- Unused subs
- Anderson, Bernabe
- Doyle Simmonds 59’
- Butterworth Candlin 80’
- Lyons Mols 59’
- Unused subs
- Mantack, Eastham
TWO goals from Felix Nmecha and a fine effort from Benjamin Garre got Manchester City's EDS side back to winning ways in the Premier League 2 at home to Blackburn Rovers.
Paul Harsley’s team produced an assured all-round display with the young Blues recording a second successive clean sheet – and their first league shut-out of the season – following last Tuesday’s 1-0 Checkatrade Trophy triumph at Tranmere.
And the victory served as the perfect confidence boost ahead of Wednesday’s vital UEFA Youth League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk
A City side featuring the experience of Eliaquim Mangala – back making his first appearance in 10 months after recovering from a serious knee injury – were in control throughout put Rovers to the sword.
Despite playing into the teeth of a strong wind in the first half, the Blues seized the initiative from the word go with Nabil Touaizi inches away from meeting Rabbi Matondo’s wicked cross barely a minute in.
However, Paul Harsley’s side didn’t have to wait too much longer before making a deserved breakthrough.
The opener arrived on 19 minutes with Benjamin Garre the architect. The Spanish winger played a finely weighted ball through to Felix Nmecha who supplied a crisp finish from 12 yards out.
Nmecha almost doubled his and City’s tally on the half hour with his deft shot clipping the bar after excellent build-up work by Taylor Richards and Garre.
Matondo then saw his close-range effort clawed away by Rovers keeper Ollie Burne before City’s dominance was rewarded again three minutes from the break.
This time Matondo was the provider, his precision pass finding Garre in space on the inside right and, after twisting and turning the Blackburn defence, he drilled home in lethal fashion.
With the wind behind us in the second half, City kept on the front foot though Rovers remained a threat – especially from set-pieces.
And keeper Tom Scott was called upon to produce a stunning save to keep out Hayden Carter’s 57th minute header.
City maintained our overall dominance though with Taylor Richards twice coming within inches of extending the lead.
And on 79 minutes a fine victory was sealed in style when Nmecha struck an exquisite free-kick for his second and City’s third goal.
How we lined up
Tom Scott was in goal marshalled by a back four of Cameron Humphreys, Jeremie Frimpong, Philippe Sandler and Eliaquim Mangala who was making his first appearance in 10 months after a long-term knee injury.
Claudio Gomes was the midfield anchor with Taylor Richards and Felix Nmecha deployed further forward and Rabbi Matondo and Benjamin Garre on either flank.
Nabi Touaizi operated as City’s striker
What it means
A fifth league win of the season moves City to fifth place in the table on 16 points.
City return to UEFA Youth League action at the Academy Stadium on Wednesday when Paul Harsley’s Under-19s play host to Shakhtar Donetsk hoping to build on last month’s 1-1 draw away in the Ukraine.