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#U23 #PL2 #MatchReport #ManCity

Under-23s suffer final day defeat to City

Spurs 1-6 Manchester City (Premier League 2)

Fri 07 May 2021, 19:23|Tottenham Hotspur

Our Under-23s’ bright Premier League 2 campaign ended with a tough defeat on Friday night as a clinical performance from champions Manchester City saw us fall 6-1 in our final outing of the season.

Ultimately finishing third in the division, we had enjoyed the best of the opening exchanges against City, however, three goals for the visitors in just six first-half minutes – a brace from Liam Delap (22 and 26), as well as a strike from Cole Palmer (28) – put them firmly in control.

After the interval, Palmer (46) and Delap (58) then added goals four and five for the Sky Blues before Dane Scarlett pulled one back for us just ahead of the hour mark. That strike proved a mere consolation for us though, as Romeo Lavia later added a sixth for City with 10 minutes remaining.

The scoreline at full-time ultimately made it a wholly disappointing evening but in the early moments it had been us who had looked the brighter of the two sides. Within the opening 20 minutes, our high press and intensity had created three good openings with Jamie Bowden, Alfie Devine and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster all having a sight of goal. The best of those opportunities fell to Bowden on seven minutes – picking up a loose ball just inside the box following a misplaced pass from City goalkeeper James Trafford, the midfielder had the goal at his mercy but the keeper, who was scrambling back to his line, did well to quickly readjust himself and get down to deflect his effort away.

It was a chance we would regret missing as on 22 minutes – and against the run of play – the visitors got themselves in front through Delap, with the striker calmly rolling home James McAtee’s through ball. Four minutes later, Delap hit us once again on the counter-attack, this time picking out the corner of the net with an impressive finish from the angle. Palmer then quickly made it three as he picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box before firing in off the post on 28 minutes.

The swift and considerable deficit was a bitter pill to swallow for our youngsters, especially considering how well we had started, yet the spirit and character of the team did not drop as we regrouped and went in search of a way back into the game. And we came agonisingly close to finding that with seven minutes remaining of the half as a mistake at the back for City allowed us in. Continuing to press high to try and force the visitors into an error, Elliott Thorpe was quick to nab the ball back inside the six-yard box, however, as he turned and fired towards the target, keeper Trafford was alert to the danger, reacting quickly to divert the midfielder's effort away. Within a minute of the restart, though, our task for the evening was made even harder, as Palmer tucked home his second and City’s fourth.

Again, despite the disappointment, we moved quickly to compose ourselves and build once more. We continued to show our threat on the break and five minutes later we again came close to breaking through the visitors’ resistance as Devine forced another save out of Trafford. But City were once again at their clinical best on 58 minutes as Delap raced through and rifled home with a lethal finish to complete his hat-trick.

Almost instantly, we found a much-needed goal a minute later as Scarlett was sent through one-on-one with the goalkeeper before showing great composure to roll the ball home and reduce the deficit. That proved scant consolation for us though as City went on to grab a sixth on 80 minutes, Lavia bundling his way through our defence before seeing his deflected effort trickle over the line.

Spurs 1-6 Manchester City (Premier League 2)

Spurs: Lo-Tutala, Lavinier, Cirkin, John, Lyons-Foster, Omole, Thorpe (Mundle 58), Bowden (c) (Pedder 77), Scarlett (Bennett 65), Devine, Markanday. Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Paskotsi.

Manchester City: Trafford, Gomes, Sandler, Burns, Bernarbe (Robinson 65), Lavia, Palmer, Doyle (c), Delap, McAtee (Smith 86), Knight (Breckin 86). Substitute (not used): Slicker.

Match data

Goals: Spurs – Scarlett 59; Manchester City – Delap 22, 26, 58, Palmer 28, 46, Lavia 80.

Yellow cards: Spurs - Omole 44; Manchester City - Sandler 90.

Referee: James Durkin.

Venue: Hotspur Way.

Weather: Cloudy but dry, 13 degrees.