U23 Report: Manchester City 4-2 Saints

By SFC Media Fri 05 May Man City U23 vs Saints U23
Photo by Matt Watson | Sam McQueen
Fri 05 May 7.00PM
Premier League 2
Man City
4
Southampton
2
Diallo [65'] Kongolo [76'] Oliver [79'] Nmecha [82']
Tella [43'] McQueen [47']
Reed [36'] Tella [85']
Venue: City Football Academy | Attendance: 0

Southampton Under-23s fell to a 4-2 defeat against their Manchester City counterparts in their final game of the Premier League 2 season.

Nathan Tella's fine solo strike just before the interval lit the blue touch paper, and that momentum continued into the second-half when Sam McQueen added to it from a corner. City pulled one back through Sadou Diallo before Rodney Kongolo's leveller.

And the hosts come back was complete around 10 minutes from time through Charlie Oliver, before Lukas Nmecha netted a late penalty.

Technical Director Martin Hunter named Charlie Austin and Matt Targett in his starting line-up for their first appearances since injury.

There were also starting berths for Jérémy Pied, McQueen, Harrison Reed and goalkeeper Mouez Hassen.

Both sides were looking to establish control early on, and Saints first opportunity almost came when Olufela Olomola released Tella down the left, but his deep cross evaded McQueen.

On 16, Tella was involved again when he found space on the edge of the box, before seeing a firm, right-footed shot collected by Daniel Grimshaw.

That positive start continued when Callum Slattery pushed forward and crossed from the right for Charlie Austin, whose powerful header was saved.

That pressure paid dividends on 43 minutes, when Tella’s weaving run from deep saw him beat the City defence before finishing low past Grimshaw and give Saints the advantage at the interval.

Nathan Tella celebrates his strike

At the start of the second-half, there was no let up from Hunter's men who immediately tightened their grip on the game when McQueen found space in the box to control Reed's corner and made no mistake with the close range finish.

With Hassen rarely troubled, Slattery almost put Saints three to the good when Olomola's deflected shot fell into his path, but the midfielder couldn't quite shape his curling shot on target.

City did respond though when good work down the right from Javairo Dilrosun saw the ball cut back for Diallo, who kept his cool to slot his effort past Hassen.

Having drawn confidence from that, the hosts continued to press forward and they netted twice in quick succession. First Rodney Kongolo levelled proceedings after a neat one-two with Paolo Fernandes and Charlie Oliver netted minutes later to make it 3-2.

With eight minutes remaining, things got worse for Saints when Nmecha was brought down in the box. He dusted himself down to send Hassen the wrong way from the spot.

Tella was dismissed late on for a second bookable offence, as the defeat then saw Saints relegated from Division One of the Premier League 2.

Man City

1
Daniel Grimshaw (GK)
2
Cameron Humphreys
3
Tosin Adarabioyo
4
Charlie Oliver
5
Sadou Diallo
6
Rodney Kongolo (C)
7
Aaron Nemane
Isaac Buckley-Ricketts (66′)
8
Paolo Fernandes
9
Thierry Ambrose
Lukas Nmecha (45′)
10
Brahim Diaz
11
Javairo Dilrosun
12
Ellis Plumber
13
Kjetil Haug
14
Will Patching
15
Isaac Buckley-Ricketts
16
Lukas Nmecha

Southampton

1
Mouez Hassen (GK)
2
Jérémy Pied
5
Florin Gardos
6
Alfie Jones
3
Matt Targett
Armani Little (62′)
4
Harrison Reed (C)
8
Callum Slattery
10
Sam McQueen
7
Olufela Olomola
11
Nathan Tella
9
Charlie Austin
Ryan Seager (71′)
13
Kingsley Latham
12
Ollie Cook
14
Armani Little
15
Will Wood
16
Ryan Seager
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