Match Report

City 2 Hamburg 0

Premier League U18 Cup
Premier League U18 Cup
Thu 14 Mar
A pair of second half goals were enough to see City comfortable winners over Hamburg in the warmth of the Emirates.

The majority of the crowd inside the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium went home happy after strikes from Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko lit up this clash, which was played at a pace rather typical of a mid-season friendly and predictably lacking the sparkle usually associated with the Premier League Champions.

Group celebration

City were back in Abu Dhabi eight months after they last stepped out in the same stadium to see off Al-Ain as part of the whistle-stop 2014 post-season tour.

This January trip, which provided the opportunity for some welcome warm weather training after the Manchester freeze, was also the ideal stage for a collection of youngsters to stake their claims, and the headline team news was a start for flying Brandon Barker.

Edin Dzeko

The young lad from Droylsden lined up alongside Jovetic and Dzeko in attack as one of eight changes from the line-up that started Sunday’s Premier League encounter with Arsenal.

Few opportunities resulted from the early sparring, with Fernando firing some way over the top for City while Willy Caballero was equal to two long range efforts from Rafael van der Vaart.

Eliaquim Mangala

Minutes before half time the game finally sparked into life with a pair of decent chances, as first Bacary Sagna poked the ball wide after Hamburg failed to clear a City corner before Jovetic was unlucky to see his curling effort whistle past the woodwork.  

Hamburg had a goal ruled out for offside within another 60 seconds but the break arrived with the game still goalless.

George Evans

Two more EDS regulars joined the action at the restart and George Evans was to play a key role in finally breaking the deadlock, picking out a perfect defence-splitting ball over the top within five minutes of his arrival for Jovetic to hit low into the back of the net.

The introduction of Sergio Aguero brought one of the biggest cheers of the night but it was his strike partner Dzeko who doubled the advantage on 73 minutes, stroking the ball into the corner after sterling work on the left hand side from the tireless James Milner.

James Milner

Bersant Celina had a chance to add a third late on but his powerful effort was some way off target and City had to settle for a 2-0 victory that will hopefully have provided some vital minutes for several of Manuel Pellegrini’s squad to round off the training camp. 

Focus now firmly returns to domestic cup matters as the quest for silverware continues when City host Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon.  

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