(HD Video) Manchester City vs Fulham 2-1 Match Highlights & All Goals
When these two sides last met at Leigh Sports Village in August of last year, Alejandro Garnacho was an unused sub for United and Rico Lewis wasn’t involved at all for City. This week they both started and scored for their respective first teams in European wins against La Liga sides.
Six of the City side that won 4-2 that day have now been moved on to new clubs; three are out on loan, and Josh Wilson-Esbrand earned a first-team promotion. It’s similar for United too, with four of those who started now out on loan, while Zidane Iqbal and Charlie Savage both earned playing time in the pre-season tour under Erik ten Hag.
A week ago, United made it 85 years in a row that an academy product had featured in every first-team squad. City can’t boast such a record yet, but they have certainly made a start and have aspirations of becoming synonymous with youth development.
It was fitting then that the opening goal was headed in by United defender Rhys Bennett after just four minutes. It was he who captained his side to the FA Youth Cup victory back in May.
Mark Dempsey’s side had only won once at Premier League 2 level this season, drawing seven of their opening 11 matches, and it showed as they struggled to keep their lead.
10 minutes into the game, Will Dickson saw a City equaliser ruled out for offside, but the tone was set as the visitors pushed for an immediate way back into the game. They wouldn’t have to wait long as Portuguese forward Borges latched onto a well-weighted pass from Oscar Bobb and finished coolly beyond the helpless Radek Vitek.
Charlie McNeill is another of those with first-team experience having made his debut against Real Sociedad in the Europa League, and he showed why when he rifled a vicious effort into the side-netting soon after the restart.
It was a second half that was closely fought as both sides defended well and had to be patient for their chances to come, but soon the heavens would open, in more ways than one.
Omari Forson worked well on the left and cut the ball back to McNeill who saw his fierce shot block, while down the other end Vitek produced a superb one-handed save to deny Kian Breckin from the edge of the box.