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James McAtee leads EDS to impressive wins against quality opposition – Week in the Academy 3

It was a mixed bag of results this week for the Blues academy sides, the EDS came away with two wins and 9 goals against tough opposition while the Under-18s suffered their first defeat of the season to Wolves.


Manchester City EDS 4-1 Chelsea U23

Brian Barry-Murphy’s EDS side faced their toughest opposition of the season so far last Saturday as they came up against Chelsea U23 – who would be regarded as one of the closest competitors to the Premier League 2 title.

City began brightly as Palmer had a shot pushed onto the crossbar by the goalkeeper 8 minutes in – but only 3 minutes later Chelsea took the lead through Harvey Vale.

City then equalised with a goal through Tai Sodje. Cole Palmer had a powerful free-kick from the edge of the box saved but Sodje displayed his goalscoring instincts to tap in from the keeper's spillage.

James McAtee came close to putting City ahead after a great team move created a heading opportunity, but Sharman clawed the ball off the line to prevent him.

The second half saw the introduction of Wilson Esbrand and Mbete who are still working their way back to full fitness and these changes seemed to spark a difference in City’s play. On the hour mark, Sam Edozie had the ball in the back of the net but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Taj Sodje won a penalty for City with 15 minutes left to go and up stepped the talisman and captain of the team, James McAtee, who dispatched it into the side netting and sent the keeper the wrong way.

The blues kicked on from here and scored two goals in stoppage time to seal the victory through Tai Sodje and Sam Edozie.

Cole Palmer and Sodje had the two most eye-catching performances on the day, Palmer was involved in three of the four goals with two assists and his free-kick causing the first goal while Sodje bagged himself a brace along with winning the penalty. Josh Wilson Esbrand continued to impress while returning from a long injury layoff and James McAtee continued his impressive goalscoring form which saw him capture the PL2 POTM for August. The centre-half partnership of Burns and Mbete is exceptionally dominant against opposition strikers, with both the players standing at 6’1 tall.

Manchester City EDS 5-1 RB Leipzig U19

City’s U19s (EDS) returned to UEFA Youth League action after its suspension during the 2020/21 season to face German opposition, RB Leipzig. It was a slightly lesser experienced side with Cole Palmer, Romeo Lavia and Cieran Slicker with the first team, while Liam Delap still wasn’t fit enough to make the squad.

It was a slow start as the defence struggled with the intense high press of Leipzig who were ahead only 3 minutes into the game through Raebiger.

City grew more comfortable and settled after the goal and equalised through the main man himself, James McAtee. An excellent goal came courtesy of a drilled pass through the lines from Mbete, and the deft touch on the back foot from McAtee, which allowed him to pivot on the spot and burst off to drill a left-footed strike from 25 yards into the bottom right corner.

Photo courtesy of Martin Rickett/Imago

25 minutes passed and it was still 1-1 until Oscar Bobb danced his way into the box to lay the ball off to Darko Gyabi, who was fouled in the area to win the penalty. Bobb stepped up to dispatch it and put City ahead.

McAtee and Gyabi both came close to scoring after great team moves set up chances for them. Just before halftime Tai Sodje nearly scored after he won the ball on the halfway line but his effort was deflected wide.

City went into an upper gear for the second half and extended their lead to 3-1 when James McAtee floated across a delightful ball to set Sodje up for an open net after Wilson Esbrand and Edozie did great work to get the ball up the pitch.

Micah Hamilton then came on to replace Gyabi, and he turned provider for both McAtee and Edozie to score. Hamilton danced his way along the end line and laid the ball off for Edozie to slot into the bottom corner making it 4-1.

The final goal of the game came in the 81st minute. McAtee played a lovely one-two with Hamilton before slotting the ball under the keeper to finish off the game.

Photo courtesy of Martin Rickett/Imago

The front 5 for the EDS were exceptional, McAtee stealing the headlines of course. McAtee scored his 11th goal in his previous 6 games while setting up another. Edozie and Bobb on the wings terrorised their fullbacks, who ended up having to foul them on numerous occasions to stop them.

Tai Sodje has been beginning to display the goalscoring form he had for the U18s last season with his 3rd goal in the week. And Darko Gyabi along with McAtee in the midfield showed a great work ethic and willingness to win back the ball for the team. Micah Hamilton made an instant impact coming off the bench setting up two goals.

The defence had a shaky start but grew into the game and in the second half had total domination, with Leipzig failing to register a chance worth talking about. Wilson Esbrand is a natural left-back and it's great to see one excelling in the youth teams.

There were EDS and UYL debuts for U18s Nico O’Reilly, Rico Lewis, and Jadel Katongo towards the end of the game. O’Reilly is a 16-year-old attacking player who took part in first-team training with Pep on Tuesday. Lewis is also 16 years old and is a highly rated attacking right-back who recently captained and scored for England U18s. Katongo is a 17-year-old central defender who is typical of what you would expect from a City defender.

Photo courtesy of Martin Rickett/Imago

Wolves U18s 2-1 Manchester City U18s

The U18s fell to their first defeat of the season to Wolves last Saturday thanks to a brace Wolves attacker Farmer. Dan Ogwuru the 17-year-old attacking player scored a late consolation goal for City. The U18s this season are a relatively young and inexperienced side with a number of 16-year-olds and first-year scholars featuring along with some 15-year-olds so they wouldn’t have too much expectation of defending the U18 Premier League crown.


Written by: @TJ9320

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