Nathan Oduwa’s first half brace was cancelled out by two goals in as many minutes from Pablo Maffeo and substitute Jack Byrne shortly after the interval at the City Football Academy on Monday afternoon.
Harry Winks produced an immediate response to restore our lead in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League contest but Jorge Intima, a lively presence for City all afternoon, equalised with 12 minutes remaining.
Goalkeeper Luke McGee pulled off a string of fine saves throughout, with Under-21s Coach Ugo reserving praise for the young stopper after a dramatic afternoon’s action.
“Nobody can fault the hard work that the players put into the game because it was a test of football and possession which we’ve not been used to,” he said.
“I don’t think there’s another team in the league that tries to dominate the ball like City, the way they play forces you to react and I thought we did that fairly well today.
“Luke McGee has made two outstanding point-blank saves and kept us in the game, but away from that everything was outside of the box. I was really pleased with Harry Winks in midfield, Christian Maghoma and Milos Veljkovic at the back and Luke in goal – I thought they were the stand-out players today.”
Reflecting on the manner in which we surrendered our initial lead after the break, Ugo added: “Their first goal was similar to the Sunderland game where we got caught sleeping on a set piece which is costly at the top level and we got punished.
“Having said that, we had some wonderful opportunities to counter them but we had certain situations where we didn’t quite pick the right pass or our finishing wasn’t top drawer like it needed to be.
“There were moments where we should have capitalised and won the game, but if you take away Luke’s saves they’ve had some chances as well. You have to take all those incidents into account when looking at the game overall.”