MANCHESTER CITY U18 1, CHELSEA U18 3
Game watched by Aleksandar Kolarov, Vincent Kompany, Manuel Pellegrini, Txiki Begiristain, and Ferran Soriano
Double strike by Tammy Abraham brings his total for the season to 38, with 8 in the FA Youth Cup alone
Isaac Buckley-Ricketts levelled the scores but City found it hard to compete against a strong Chelsea side
City improve in the second half but lack cutting edge, going close several times
Chelsea hit killer blow late on with goal by Dominic Solanke
Jason Wilcox’s U18 Manchester City side will have to up their game to overcome Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next week after the Londoners took a 3-1 lead back to the capital with a strong performance in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup.
Dominic Solanke’s late goal was a huge blow for a City side who had been pushing for an equaliser in the last quarter of the game.
Tammy Abraham opened the scoring for Chelsea from inside the box with a blast past Kjetil Haug after the City defence was cut apart with the first decent chance of the game in the 7th minute.
City were behind for less than two minutes though as Isaac Buckley-Ricketts levelled with a low shot across Bradley Collins in the Chelsea goal after Brandon Barker drove straight through the visitors’ defence.
And City might have taken the lead in the 11th minute when Aaron Nemane broke free down the right channel and saw his cross almost turned into his own goal by Jake Clarke Salter but for an acrobatic save by Collins.
But Chelsea who wrestled the lead back after Haug cleared off his own line from Isaiah Brown following a corner but the rebound was sent back into the six yard box and was put away by Abraham with a point blank volley from four yards out.
City struggled to compete with Chelsea who looked physically stronger than their opponents and able to restrict City chances while promising first team prospect Angelino’s left flank was continually exposed for Chelsea’s goals.
Chelsea took their foot off the gas in the second half and City found some half chances with Nemane skipping inside Jay Dasilva only to find few players up in support while Bersant Celina exchanged passes with Manuel Garcia only to shoot too close to Collins in the 56th minute.
City had space to show off some individual skill later in the second half and Manuel Garcia was put through on goal by Barker’s through ball after Celina had made some space but he shot wide under pressure in the 74th minute.
And Nemane slipped past Salter but lashed his shot high and wide of the near post in the 76th minute while Kean Bryan was angry at himself soon afterwards for not hitting the target with just the keeper to beat after he dispossessed Charlie Colkett on the edge of his own box.
Garcia shot wide after City’s best attack of the second half saw Celina feed Barker down the left flank who put the small Spanish midfielder through for a shot under pressure that flew wide.
City certainly finished strongly but couldn’t find the equaliser as both sides tired and were then hit by the inevitable late blow when Charly Musonda was given license to run past their defence and allow Solanke to give Chelsea a commanding lead going into the second leg at Stamford Bridge.