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Stalemate in Under-21s' clash with 10-man City

Manchester City 0-0 Spurs (Premier League 2)

Sun 21 August 2022, 16:00|Tottenham Hotspur

There was a first clean sheet of the season for our Under-21s as we secured a hard-earned point away to Manchester City in the Premier League 2 on Sunday afternoon.

Under pressure in the opening stages – Oscar Bobb's effort was superbly tipped onto the post by Aaron Maguire on his first appearance at this level inside five minutes – we grew into the game with Romaine Mundle and Roshaun Mathurin causing problems for the hosts with their driving runs in the wide areas.

And when Mundle was brought down by Jadel Katongo after one such burst towards the end of the first half, the City centre-back was shown a straight red card as the last defender, giving us a real incentive to go after maximum points for the remainder of the game.

Jamie Donley, Mundle and Yago Santiago all tested City stopper Mikki van Sas as we tried to press home the man advantage after half-time but we couldn't quite do enough to find a breakthrough and it was the hosts who had the better of the late chances, substitute Josh Adam denied by another fine save from Maguire and Carlos Borges lifting a shot over the bar after a counter-attack six minutes from time. All things considered, though, the goalless draw yielded a good point for us, with a handful of key players missing through injury and the need for a reaction to last week's below-par performance and 2-0 home defeat to Everton.

Troy Parrott was among those in the crowd at City's Academy Stadium, the striker having journeyed across from his loan club Preston to get behind the team, and he'd have been proud of our lively front three, who were supported by Donley in a slightly deeper role.

City looked sharp early on with Bobb going close and Maguire diving to win the ball at the feet of the onrushing Borges, but we soon found space to play and began making inroads at the other end, Mathurin just unable to bring Santiago's return pass under his spell after a slick one-two to get into the box and Mundle breaking through and going to ground under Tom Galvez's challenge in the penalty area, only for the referee to wave away our appeals for a spot-kick.

Juan Larios fired across goal and just wide for City while Tyrell Ashcroft got forward from left-back to sweep a shot off-target for us before the key moment arrived in the 38th minute. Again it was the menacing Mundle who zipped between defenders to go through on goal but as he did, Katongo brought him down and was given his marching orders.

Up against 10 men, we turned up the heat on the home side at the start of the second half, Donley's strike from the left angle pushed onto the post and behind by Van Sas, with Mundle's looping effort from Mathurin's resulting corner tipped over by the backpedalling keeper, while Santiago was just unable to connect with Donley's cross in the middle of the box moments later. Santiago subsequently steered a first-time shot from Mundle's free-kick straight at Van Sas but City reminded us of their threats when Adam latched onto a ball over the top and struck a first-time effort towards goal from the left angle, which was brilliantly kept out by Maguire. Dire Mebude couldn't make the most of the follow-up and was later left kicking himself after sliding a dangerous low ball across the six-yard box from the right, which was ultimately cleared by Kallum Cesay after failing to find anyone in a blue shirt.

Jaden Williams – one of three players in the squad on double duty after being involved in the Under-18s' last-gasp defeat to West Brom 24 hours earlier – and Max Robson brought fresh legs up front for the latter stages as we tried to find a winner, but the closest either side came was when Borges fired over in the 84th minute, meaning honours ended even.

Reaction on SPURSPLAY

'It's a decent point'

City had scored three goals in each of their first two league games of the season, winning both, so Under-21s Coach Wayne Burnett was understandably proud of his charges for taking something away from the north-west after the manner of last week's loss to Everton.

“I thought it was quite an entertaining 0-0,” he told SPURSPLAY after the game. “We played very well in the first half with 11 v 11, played some nice football and created one or two decent chances, City then had a player sent off and against most teams, when you're playing against 10, you'd think you have an advantage but they've got some very good players, as we saw. We're a bit disappointed that we didn't threaten more in the second half but to come away to City, it's a decent point and after the performance that we had last week, I'm really pleased with the way that the players have conducted themselves.”

Highlights on SPURSPLAY

Manchester City 0-0 Spurs (Premier League 2)

Manchester City: Van Sas, Larios, Burns, Katongo, Galvez (Agyemang 75), Charles (c), Mebude, Breckin, Ogwuru (Adam 41), Bobb, Borges. Substitutes (not used): McNamara, Smith.

Spurs: Maguire, Cesay, Ashcroft, Sayers, Muir, Craig, Mundle (Robson 84), John (c), Santiago, Donley (Williams 74), Mathurin. Substitutes (not used): Hayton, Dorrington, Abbott.

Match data

Yellow card: Spurs - Cesay 62.

Red card: Manchester City - Katongo 38.

Referee: Andrew Miller.

Venue: City Academy Stadium, Manchester.

Weather: Sunny with a gentle breeze, 19 degrees.