Wednesday, 30 September 2015

UEFA Youth League - Mönchengladbach 1-2 City

Sadly I couldn't make it to this game, what with it being a plane journey and hundreds of miles away, and there was no streams either, so I had to make do with live twitter feeds like everyone else. Bearing that in mind, this article is something a placeholder, admittedly, though there was some things of note worth discussing to take from the day's events. For those not privy to the game's unfolding, City went behind after about twenty seconds on the clock. Apparently a midfield mix up and a thirty yard drive were enough to put Mönchengladbach ahead before most had probably even taken their seats. Not ideal, and not too unlike how we started the opening game of the tournament at Juventus, conceding with barely any time on the clock after a defensive mistake. Encouragingly though, the team, as with the Juventus game, seemed to show real character, keeping their composure to eventually come from behind to win the game.

Nemane celebrates his goal
Will Patching, in something of a hot streak of form at the moment, took advantage of Nemane's good work to slot home and then Nemane himself scored what was, apparently, something of a belter, skipping past two challenges to curl past the keeper. Impressive fortitude, especially against players with professional experience too. This can't be downplayed - Mönchengladbach are no mugs, with several already playing regular competitive football due to the b-team scenario in Germany. Most play week in week out alongside adults in games that actually matter, in a testing professional environment. That matures you, quickly. And this was a young City team too. Three sixteen year olds, three aged seventeen, Gunn the solitary nineteen year old representative and four aged eighteen left City with an average age of just seventeen and a quarter. All this seemingly against them, and yet in a different country, despite a difficult start, they carried on playing the way they know and the way they've been taught to win the game. It's impressive, it really is.

There's also the factor that apart from the Garcia's in midfield, this was a team with nine players eligible for England. Numerous Mancs too, which is always welcome. Add this to the fact that Brandon Barker and Kean Bryan would almost certainly start, both local boys too, and the claims that City are perhaps neglecting English talent seem a little futile. There's more to come from this team and the UEFA Youth League campaign should prove fascinating when players such as Bryan, Maffeo, Ambrose, Barker, Brahim and Boadu are all either back from first team commitments, eligible after legal red tape or have finally recovered from injury. The depth is frightening and it's a team that could go all the way, quite easily. The next challenge, Sevilla, should prove interesting, as shall tonight's first team game. Brandon Barker, George Evans, Pablo Maffeo and Thierry Ambrose all made the trip, with the former three on the bench. What i'd give for a Brandon Barker late winner. One can but dream... soon on the blog there will be the first loan report of the season, and at the weekend both the u18s and the EDS play. Reports will follow on here as ever.

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