MANCHESTER CITY U19 1, CSKA MOSCOW U19 2 (UEFA Youth Champions League)
City’s U17 team missed the creative spark and goalscoring prowess of captain Marcos Lopes as they went down 2-1 to a powerful, determined and organised CSKA Moscow U19 side. Seko Fofana’s opener was cancelled out by second half strikes by Aleksandr Golovin and Nikita Chernov in a match watched by City’s senior captain Vincent Kompany and sporting director Tkixi Begiristain.
CSKA were bolstered by three returning players from U17 World Cup – goalscorers Golovin and Chernov were joined by Aleksandr Makorov, and they prompted the visitors to victory after an early setback.
City had an early warning of CSKA’s talented players when Svyatovslav Georgievski’s free kick was parried away by City ‘keeper Billy O’Brien. Aleksandr Makorov hit the post in the 14th minute with a curling effort after he was allowed to come in off the left wing.
Fofana opened the scoring in the 22nd minute having slipped when presented with a similar chance earlier. Jose Angel Pozo shaped to shoot but instead slipped in Fofana to his left. The City midfielder, who was immense in midfield, forced an acrobatic save from CSKA ‘keeper Sergei Revyakin before burying the rebound.
The EDS team badly missed the input of Marcos Lopes, injured just before the Capital One Cup game against Newcastle United, and Angus Gunn and Devante Cole as they laboured in increasingly gloomy and damp conditions in the second half. Pozo could have extended City’s lead on the hour after a neat turn and and shot went wide but CSKA’s superior fitness and motivation began to tell towards the end of the game.
Golovin equalised in the 66th minute and O’Brien denied substitute Viktor Borzykh before Nikita Chernov rose above Jason Denayer to head in a free kick in to put CSKA into a deserved lead with 12 minutes to go.
City pushed for an equaliser and Fofana went close but could not level it and a last minute header by Denayer from Jose Angel Tasende’s corner hit the bar.