Manchester City U21s 1 Southampton U21s 2 - match report (10/03/2014)

By Gavin Cooper/Andrew Waldon, Mon 10 March 2014 21:47

Manchester City U21s 1 Southampton U21s 2 - match report (10/03/2014)Last Gasp winner sinks City

Barclays Under 21 League
Monday 10th March 2014

City: Lawlor, Drury, Tasende, Facey, Denayer, Glendon, Bytyqi, Fofana (Ntcham), Hiwula (Bryan), Lopes, Cole
Unused: O'Brien (GK), Plummer, Byrne
Goals: Lopes (p)

City were looking to record their ninth league win in a row which would have seen them temporarily move into third place.However despite creating some really good chances throughout the game City could not add to Marcos Lopes’ penalty as Chris Johns saved well and the Southampton defence threw themselves at the ball time and time again in and around the area.

City found their first real chance when fullback Adam Drury burst down the right flank and sent in a cross with real pace and amazingly it evaded everyone’s touches to clear or convert and score a goal.

Not to be out done Angelino Tasende on the left flank got forward well and got away from his marker and played a short cross into Jordy Hiwula and he controlled the ball well but decided to shoot early and the shot went too high and over the bar.

Drury and Sinan Bytyqi were really working well together down the right flank and it was again Drury who got his deep cross in and Hiwula rose well at the far post and headed down but there was Johns to get down well and claim the ball.

After a short stoppage for an injury to a Southampton player the deadlock was finally broken when Devante Cole broke through on the left side and tried to jink through into the area but he was caught as he just entered the box and the referee Daniel Meeson awarded the penalty. City captain Lopes took responsibility to take the spot kick and he fired straight down the middle as Johns dived away.

City were looking to add to that lead with again good work between Drury and Bytyqi and it was the Austrian who was able to get his cross in but Hiwula’s touch allowed Johns to claim the ball.

A couple of minutes later and Southampton finally created their first real chance of the game when they moved down the right and Lloyd Isgrove cut inside to get beyond the City defence and have a clear strike at goal from the angle but Ian Lawlor got his angles right and stuck out a leg to deny the winger a certain goal.

That goal came however in the last minute of the first half when a ball came over from the right and around four Southampton players went for the flight when in all honesty they looked like they were offside and then as Lawlor came out the ball was again played forward and Jordan Turnbull looked again to be ahead of the play as he poked the ball into an empty goal.

The second half took a little while to get going and perhaps the impetus changed when City changed their formation to bring Kean Bryan as an extra man in midfield and free Bytyqi down the opposite flank and look to cut inside more.

It was such a move that allowed the ball to get forward and Bytyqi cut inside and the ball came out to Seko Fofana and he found that little bit of room for himself and tried to curl his shot into the corner of the goal from about twenty yards but the flight did not quite curl enough and it went inches wide.

City continued to push forward and it was Lopes who was getting into those danger positions further forward and he had two shots, one tested Johns but the second one deflected away.

The game just seemed to be one of those matches where things were not quite falling for a City win where even deflected crosses fell into the arms of Johns.

However it was not envisaged that there was a chance that City would lose. But somehow they did by quite rightly chasing their own victory left themselves exposed going into stoppage time and Southampton hit City on the break down the left and looked like they were about to take the lead as they ran into the area but just as the trigger was about to be pulled substitute Olivier Ntcham threw himself into a perfectly timed last ditch tackle and behind for a corner.

City who’s defensive prowess has been of a very high standard normally from set pieces completely deserted them as Southampton captain Jack Stephens rose well at the near post and headed across goal and past Lawlor and into the far corner of the goal.

Next up for City’s U21s is a two week break for an away trip to struggling Blackburn Rovers where they will need the victory if they are to make the top four and end of season play-offs.

Posted in EDS Match Reports by Gavin Cooper/Andrew Waldon.

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