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Liam Delap makes goalscoring return in special week for the Academy – Week in the Academy 4

Two wins and a loss the results for the EDS and Under-18s this week, but the most noteworthy moment of the last 7 days was the 6 academy players who were handed their professional debut by Pep Guardiola against Wycombe on Tuesday night.

Manchester City EDS 4-2 Crystal Palace U23s


City had to come back from behind to get the 3 points against one of the better U23 sides in the PL2 in Crystal Palace. With Joshua Wilson-Esbrand, Romeo Lavia, Luke Mbete and Cole Palmer on the substitutes bench for the first team, Liam Delap was a familiar face returning to the starting XI to boost the squad after his recent injury layoff.


The blues went behind 38 minutes in as Robert Street rose above Finley Burns to head home past Van Sas.


3 minutes later, James McAtee and Liam Delap combined for the first time this season to draw the home side level. A long ball from Burns was headed down from McAtee and Delap fired home with a left-footed half volley.


It wasn’t long before Palace took the lead again. From the kick-off after Delap’s strike, the away side attacked, and Rak-Sakyi found the back of the net rebounding in from his shot which struck the post.


The 4th goal in 7 minutes once again came courtesy of James McAtee. Oscar Bobb was the provider, after his mazy run from the right-wing he found the attacking midfielder in the box who slotted past the opposition keeper.

Liam Delap was substituted at halftime as he continues his steady return from injury which will see him play 45 minutes, then 60, then 75 and eventually a full 90. He was replaced by Tai Sodje who in the 51st minute won the blues a penalty. Sam Edozie stepped up to take it and he emphatically smashed the ball into the top left-hand corner leaving the keeper no chance.


McAtee scored his second and City’s fourth goal to seal the three points with Bobb once again assisting him. The Norwegian winger picked the ball up from deep and carried it to the edge of the box before sliding in the club’s top scorer who toe-poked the ball past the keeper.


McAtee and Bobb were the stars again both combining for two of the goals and continuing their impressive form. The 18-year-old Salford born midfielder leads the Premier League 2 goalscoring charts with 9 goals and would only need 16 goals in the remaining 21 matches to beat Liam Delap’s goalscoring record of 24 set by him last season.


Oscar Bobb has recorded the most assists this season with 5 and has looked a constant bright spark in every match. He is most definitely a name for City fans to watch out for across the remainder of this season.


Liam Delap gave fans a glimpse of the goalscoring ability he has in his locker as he will look to impress Pep Guardiola and earn a starting place at striker for the first team.


Doncaster Rovers 2-1 Manchester City EDS


It was a very youthful EDS team put out by Brian Barry-Murphy on Tuesday night as 7 of his usual players were on first-team duty for the night. Two Under-18s Jadel Katongo and Isaac Smith started at the back in place of Finley Burns and Luke Mbete while Luke Bolton and Juan Larios covered for CJ Egan-Riley and Josh Wilson-Esbrand. A new look midfield saw 17-year-old Shea Charles, normally a defender, take Romeo Lavia’s place at the base of midfield while Darko Gybai partnered Micah Hamilton in the absence of James McAtee and Cole Palmer. The front three on the night of Bobb, Delap and Edozie was to be expected.


City opened the scoring 8 minutes into the game thanks to the captain for the night, Sam Edozie. A high press from the left-winger along with Bobb gifted the ball to Gyabi who played it out wide to Edozie. A one-two was played between Edozie and Bobb and the skipper slotted past the Rovers keeper.

Photo courtesy of Ben Early/News Images/Imago

Joe Dodoo got the hosts level with a low shot into the bottom right corner. And then, in the second half, Dodoo put Doncaster ahead after a corner evaded everyone and fell to him and he volleyed the ball past Slicker into the far post.


City’s EDS now sit second in Group E on three points with it all to play for. Rotherham and Doncaster join them on three points. The final group game takes place on the 26th of October against Rotherham, though some of the experienced players like Cole Palmer could once again be called into action for the first team as they face West Ham in the Carabao Cup in the same week. All in all, Tuesday’s game was some much-needed experience for the young squad and will be a vital learning curve in their development as players.

Photo courtesy of Ben Early/News Images/Imago

Manchester City U18s 5-2 Aston Villa U18s


A superb display from the Under 18s saw them claim an emphatic 5-2 victory over Aston Villa in their U18 Premier League Cup opener. The 5 goals came from Dire Mebude, Daniel Ogwuru, Luca Barrington, and a brace from Nico O’Reilly. There are several exciting young talents in this squad to keep an eye on. Although the squad is predominantly quite young and inexperienced, Nico O’Reilly, Rico Lewis, Jadel Katongo and Dire Mebude have caught the eye, with the first two featuring in some of the first-team training sessions led by Guardiola.

ELSEWHERE


City’s Under 16s also managed to get off to a strong start in their U16 Premier League Cup campaign with a 2-0 victory against Aston Villa.


Pep Guardiola handed 6 academy graduates their first-team debut against League 1 opposition Wycombe in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night. CJ Egan-Riley, Finley Burns, Luke Mbete and Josh Wilson-Esbrand started at the back with Romeo Lavia playing the full 90 alongside Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne in midfield. James McAtee came off the bench, surprisingly at left-back, to earn his first competitive appearance at senior level. Two other academy graduates featured in Cole Palmer and Phil Foden, which meant 8 graduates from the Manchester City academy featured on the night, which is definitely something for the club to be proud of.

Photo courtesy of Barrington Coombs/Imago

The first team boss was full of praise for his young prodigies in his post-match press conference. The Catalan described Egan-Riley’s performance at fullback as “incredible” as he likened Finley Burns to a “watch” because “every action he does perfectly, he is always concentrated”. He praised Mbete and Wilson-Esbrand for their “incredible left-foot ability” as both of them managed to claim an assist on the night. On Lavia, Pep said, “Romeo being man-marked was a little uncomfortable for him but he’s only 17 years old, he’s so young”. Guardiola then added McAtee, Palmer, Delap and Edozie to the list of players that he sees as part of an “incredible generation” who he hopes can try to emulate Phil Foden and become regulars for the club in the future. Cole Palmer is certainly a player at the forefront of Pep's thoughts as he curled in a delightful first goal for the club in his cameo against Wycombe. The first of many I'd say for the Wythenshawe winger.

Photo courtesy of Action Plus/David Blunsden/Imago

Written by: @TJ9320


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