Goals from Chris Willock as well as substitute Donyell Malen were not enough for the Young Guns to progress into this year’s FA Youth Cup final and they lost 4-3 on aggregate after two quick-fire Manchester City strikes.
Having started encouragingly, Willock broke the deadlock after just five minutes following an excellent darting run forward, before curling a low effort past Daniel Grimshaw’s dive into the bottom corner.
The 2-1 aggregate deficit was suddenly overturned, and Jason Wilcox’s side found themselves chasing the game for large periods of the first-half, where a succession of sloppy passing in midfield saw us enjoy promising moments in-and-around the final third.
However against the run of play, the Sky Blues found themselves a goal from seemingly nothing. A throw-in on the far side was too powerful as we relinquished possession, and a quick passing exchange down the left-hand side saw the ball fall to Brahim Diaz. The talented Spaniard weaved his way into the area and despite a sharp reaction save from Hugo Keto, Diaz was in the perfect place to head home from close-range after the ball bounced in a goalmouth scramble.
A momentarily lapse in concentration proved costly shortly after the half-hour mark, when Diaz’s quick free-kick caught the Gunners backline off-guard, allowing Rodney Kongolo space to slip through virtually unchallenged, where he was able to slot home through Keto’s legs to double City’s lead on the evening, making it seem more like mission impossible for the Young Guns in front of a stunned crowd.