City’s under-18s progressed to the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup tonight with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Southampton. The Young Blues had the game wrapped-up by the half-way point with three first half goals from Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho and Lukas Nmecha. Demeaco Duhaney added a fourth towards the end of the game, but in all honesty it could’ve easily been a couple more.
Phil Foden was particularly good throughout, playing in a similar position to what Silva and De Bruyne play for the first team – just behind the striker and given a licence to drop deeper. He linked the play excellently in the first half and took his goal really nicely, reacting quickly to slam the ball home with his left foot. Jadon Sancho had quite a quiet first forty five by his standards but my god was he good in the second half. His dribbling is a sight to behold and I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve seen anyone better at his age (sixteen) in one-on-one situations. He’s frighteningly good.
Elsewhere, Sadou Diallo was impressive in the deepest of the midfield roles, patrolling in front of the back four with a remarkable calmness. He was assured in possession and good without the ball too, reacting quickly every time Southampton tried to spring a counter attack. It’s a difficult job being the lone holder in such an attack-minded team – your margin for error is close to zero, but Diallo was excellent throughout.
A quick mention too for Brahim Diaz, who was typically tenacious. Brahim plays with such a fantastic intensity and spirit that it’s hard not to see him staking his claim for first-team spot in the years to come. We really are blessed to have academy players of this calibre at the football club, so I urge any of you who have the means to get down to the CFA to do so. This is a special group of young players.