U23s Report: Leeds United 1-3 Manchester City

Defeat on a record breaking night at Elland Road.

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Premier League 2

Leeds United 1 (Joseph 6’)

Manchester City 3 (Da Silva 8’, Palmer 12’, McAtee 89')

Leeds: Klaesson (GK), Sutcliffe, McCarron, Kenneh, Cresswell (C), Jenkins, Summerville (Miller 65’), Bate, Joseph, Gray, McGurk (McKinstry 73’). Subs not used: Van Den Heuvel (GK), Allen, Mullen.

Man City: Slicker (GK), Oduroh, Charles, Mbete, Galvez, Lavia, Da Silva (Gyabi 68’), Palmer (Bobb 45’), Delap (C), McAtee (Borges 84’), Edozie. Subs not used: Van Sas (GK), Lewis.

Venue: Elland Road

Attendance: 21,321

Referee: Andrew Miller

Booked: Summerville, Gray (Leeds) Slicker, Lavia (Man City)

Leeds United Under-23s put in a hard-fought display against Premier League 2 champions Manchester City, but were beaten on a record-breaking night at Elland Road in front of 21,321 fans.

Despite Mateo Joseph’s early opener, the visitors hit back with three goals of their own which meant that they claimed back-to-back Premier League 2 Division One titles.

Inside a boisterous, enthusiastic and supportive Elland Road, Andy Taylor’s side got off to the perfect start with an opener in just the sixth minute of the game. After good work from Crysencio Summerville and Archie Gray to push forward, the ball fell for Sean McGurk to square to Joseph, who fired in at the near post to put Leeds one goal up.

However, with just the one point needed to secure the title, City hit back within two minutes to equalise through Kayke Da Silva who broke down the right hand side, cut in and slotted into the bottom corner.

Just a few minutes later, an almost carbon copy of the equaliser put the away side ahead in the match. This time it was the well known Cole Palmer who fired in low left-footed to make it two for his side.

A thoroughly energetic and entertaining opening to the match continued as the Whites pressed to get an equaliser. Cieran Slicker was fortunate to remain on the pitch for two separate incidents, with the ‘keeper fouling Summerville outside the box and receiving a yellow, before then appearing to bring down the winger again inside the box moments later but nothing was awarded.

McGurk and Summerville had efforts on goal well saved as the whistle approached, but they were denied by stops again from Slicker, meaning Manchester City had the lead going in at half-time.

HALF TIME: Leeds United 1-2 Manchester City

When the second half got underway, Leeds were instantly back on the front foot and going in search of an equaliser in the match. Jack Jenkins was the player to go close early, once dragging a left-footed strike wide before his next effort cannoned off the post and behind.

McGurk then forced another good stop from Slicker before City had a good opportunity of their own through first half goalscorer, Da Silva. The winger found space at the back of the box and had time, but struck into the side netting.

In a half which was becoming relative one-way traffic, Taylor’s side continue to create chances and were inches from equalising. Joseph curled just wide of the post, whilst Gray was creating opportunities for his teammates which came within millimetres of finding the net.

Stuart McKinstry and Amari Miller came on off the bench and added fresh legs to the team as the clock continued to tick down, but no further major chances were coming.

In the final few seconds and with the Whites pushed up the pitch, Manchester City scored the goal which not only secured the three points, but also won them the title. Liam Delap was the scorer as his deflected strike nestled in at the near post.

A huge performance in front of an even bigger crowd didn’t go the way of Leeds United, but it was a memorable occasion under the lights of Elland Road which broke the Premier League 2 record. Next up for the side, the final match of the season away at Arsenal, at the Emirates.

FULL TIME: Leeds United 1-3 Manchester City

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